Students pay tribute to teacher as minute’s silence held for Reading victims

Flowers are placed at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday in which three people died. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 22, 2020. A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people in a Reading park on Saturday night and wounding three others. The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. See PA story POLICE Reading. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Flowers are placed at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading (Picture: PA)

 

Students are paying heartfelt tributes to their beloved teacher who was one of three people killed during a knife attack in Reading.

James Furlong, 36, was the head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham.

Pupils were seen embracing outside the school gates this morning after placing flowers, pictures and cards in memory of Mr Furlong.

A minute’s silence is being held in Reading today to remember Mr Furlong and the other victims of Saturday’s attack.

The school described Mr Furlong as a ‘kind and gentle man’ who ‘truly inspired everyone he taught’. Former pupils said he was ‘simply the best’.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, was named as the second victim earlier today. The American citizen moved to England 15 years ago and is understood to have been friends with Mr Furlong.

Hyde News & Pictures Ltd. 21/06/2020 *************** Picture by Vagner Vidal *************** The killer who murdered three people and left another three badly injured in a frenzied knife attack in a park, was not believed to be a terrorist, detectives said today (Sun). Three men were stabbed to death when a knifeman suddenly went on the rampage as a group of people were enjoying a sunny Saturday evening in Forbury Gardens, Reading, Berks. He plunged a knife into at least six people as they sat on the grass, causing a bloodbath in front of the Forbury Lion, a statue in Reading and just 100 yards from the town's crown court. Picture shows Reading stabbing victim teacher James Furlong. See copy HNPtrip
Teacher James Furlong was one of three people killed by a knife attacker (Picture: Vagner Vidal/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd)

 

Pupils walking up to place flowers at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday in which three people died. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 22, 2020. A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people in a Reading park on Saturday night and wounding three others. The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. See PA story POLICE Reading. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Pupils walk up to place flowers at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berkshire, in memory of teacher James Furlong (Picture: PA)

 

Two women embrace at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, where floral tributes have been placed in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday in which three people died. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 22, 2020. A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people in a Reading park on Saturday night and wounding three others. The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. See PA story POLICE Reading. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Two women embrace at the entrance to the Holt School (Credits: PA)

 

Flowers are placed at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday in which three people died. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 22, 2020. A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people in a Reading park on Saturday night and wounding three others. The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. See PA story POLICE Reading. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people (Picture: PA)

 

The Prime Minister has said he was ‘appalled and sickened’ after police declared the murder of three people in a park to be a terrorist attack.

Libyan refugee Khairi Saadallah, 25, is being held over the stabbings in Forbury Gardens near the town centre, which also left another three people injured.

The suspect is understood to have been on MI5’s radar in the middle of last year after being granted asylum in the UK. Mental health is being considered a major factor in the incident.

The suspect was freed from prison for a non-terror offence towards the end of last year The sentence was said to have been in excess of 12 months.

Flowers placed at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday in which three people died. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 22, 2020. A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people in a Reading park on Saturday night and wounding three others. The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. See PA story POLICE Reading. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Flowers placed at the entrance to the Holt School (Picture: PA)

 

Flowers placed at the entrance to the Holt School, Wokingham, Berskhire, in memory of teacher James Furlong, a victim of the terrorist attack in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday in which three people died. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 22, 2020. A terror suspect remains in custody accused of killing three people in a Reading park on Saturday night and wounding three others. The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene and arrested on suspicion of murder. See PA story POLICE Reading. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A police officer stands guard outside the school (Picture: PA)

 

Hyde News & Pictures Ltd. 21/06/2020 *************** Picture by Vagner Vidal *************** The killer who murdered three people and left another three badly injured in a frenzied knife attack in a park, was not believed to be a terrorist, detectives said today (Sun). Three men were stabbed to death when a knifeman suddenly went on the rampage as a group of people were enjoying a sunny Saturday evening in Forbury Gardens, Reading, Berks. He plunged a knife into at least six people as they sat on the grass, causing a bloodbath in front of the Forbury Lion, a statue in Reading and just 100 yards from the town's crown court. Picture shows Reading stabbing victim teacher James Furlong. See copy HNPtrip
James Furlong was head of History, Government and Politics (Picture: Vagner Vidal/Hyde News & Pictures Ltd)

 

One witness described how he had stood staring without even blinking as he was arrested.

Deliveroo driver Amir Hadyoon, 31, saw the suspect who was covered in blood arrested outside the job centre on Friar Street, a short distance from Forbury Gardens.

Mr Hadyoon told reporters the man had not resisted the officers, adding: ‘To me it looked very weird because he didn’t say a word. He didn’t care, he was just staring… he was just completely silent.

‘He wasn’t even blinking, he looked really weird.’

epa08500235 A police cordon close to the scene where three people were stabbed in Forbury Gardens in Reading, Britain, 21 June 2020. British Police have now declared the stabbing incident where three people were killed and other three seriously injured in a park in Reading, a terrorist attack. The 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene in Forbury Gardens. EPA/ANDY RAIN
A police cordon close to the scene where three people were stabbed (PIcture: EPA)

 

Boris Johnson said he is ‘appalled and sickened’ by the suspected terror attack and pledged ‘we will not hesitate to take action’ if there are lessons to be learned.

In an interview in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said his ‘thoughts are very much with the family and the friends of the victims today’.

One of the patients admitted to Royal Berkshire Hospital has been discharged, while another remains in a stable condition under observation.

The head of counter terrorism policing, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the motivation for the killings are ‘far from certain’.

epa08500194 A police cordon close to the scene where three people were stabbed in Forbury Gardens in Reading, Britain, 21 June 2020. British Police have now declared the stabbing incident where three people were killed and other three seriously injured, a terrorist attack. EPA/ANDY RAIN
A police cordon close to the scene where three people were stabbed (Picture: EPA)

 

Personal trainer recounts moment he ran from terror suspect 'who couldn't catch him'
Personal trainer Lawrence Wort witnessed the attack (Picture:BBC)

 

Speaking in London, he said: ‘Although the motivation for this horrific act is far from certain, counter-terrorism policing have taken responsibility for leading the investigation.’

He emphasised that the attack was not associated ‘in any way’ with the Black Lives Matter protests that had taken place in the park earlier that day.

Personal trainer Lawrence Wort, 20, said he was around 10 metres from the attack, adding: ‘The park was pretty full, a lot of people sat around drinking with friends, when one lone person walked through, suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went around a large group of around 10, trying to stab them.

‘He stabbed three of them, severely in the neck, and under the arms, and then turned and started running towards me, and we turned and started running.

‘When he realised that he couldn’t catch us, he tried to stab another group sat down, he got one person in the back of the neck and then when he realised everyone was starting to run, he ran out the park.’

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