American Among the Dead in UK Terror Attack

Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, stabbed to death Saturday, had moved to England 15 years ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2020 7:28 AM CDT
Ambassador: UK Stabbing Took Life of an American
Armed police officers are seen in Reading, England, on Saturday.   (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

(Newser) – An American man was among the three victims stabbed to death in a park in the English town of Reading, in an incident that's being treated as a terror attack, the US ambassador to Britain confirmed Monday. Ambassador Woody Johnson offered his "deepest condolences'' to the families of those killed in the attack on Saturday. A 25-year-old man who's believed to be the lone attacker is in custody, but officials said the motive for the carnage was unclear, per the AP. "Our thoughts are with all those affected,'' Johnson noted on Twitter. "We condemn the attack absolutely and have offered our assistance to British law enforcement."

In addition to the three people killed, three others were seriously wounded in the stabbing attack Saturday evening in the Forbury Gardens park in Reading, a town of 200,000 people 40 miles west of London. The Philadelphia Inquirer named the American victim as Joe Ritchie-Bennett, a friend of James Furlong, a history teacher named by his school as one of the victims. Ritchie-Bennett was 39 and had moved to England from the US around 15 years ago. His father, Robert Ritchie, said his son worked for a law firm in London before taking a job about 10 years ago at a Dutch pharmaceutical company that had its British headquarters in Reading. The third victim hadn't been identified as of Monday morning, per CBS News. Britain's official terrorism threat level remains at "substantial" after the attack.

(Read more terror attack stories.)

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