Three people died and three were injured after a stabbing spree by a lone attacker in a park in the English town of Reading on Saturday evening, local police said, adding that they were not treating the incident as terrorism.
Thames Valley Police said they arrested a 25-year-old local man on suspicion of murder and were not seeking other suspects.
‘This is not currently being treated as a terrorism incident.
‘However, officers are keeping an open mind as to the motivation for the incident,’ said Detective Chief Superintendent, Ian Hunter, the force’s Head of Crime.
Hunter said detectives were ‘being supported by colleagues from Counter Terrorism Policing South East.’
He rejected speculation that the attack was linked to a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest in the park earlier Saturday.
‘I can confirm that this incident is not connected.
‘It occurred around three hours after the protest had concluded,’ Hunter said.
He urged people who filmed the aftermath of the attack on mobile phones to hand over the footage and avoid sharing it on social media ‘out of respect for those deceased and injured, along with their loved ones.’
The Police said emergency services responded to the incident in Reading’s Forbury Gardens around 7.00 p.m. (1800 GMT).
Witness Lawrence Wort told broadcaster Sky News he saw a man walk up to people in the park and stab them before running towards him, saying the attack appeared to be ‘completely random’.
‘So, 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,’ Wort said.
‘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.’
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said she was “deeply concerned to hear reports of an incident in Reading’’.
‘My thoughts are with everyone involved, including Police and emergency responders at the scene,’ Patel tweeted.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a similar message, saying: ‘My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene.’