A MAN has been arrested after a mass stabbing at a Reading park.
The suspect, who is thought to be Libyan, was arrested at the scene yesterday night.
Counter terrorism officers attended the scene, but the motive for the attack has not yet been confirmed.
It is not clear whether the suspect – who is now in custody – acted alone or with someone else, but as inquiries are ongoing more information will be available.
Three people were killed during the stabbing in Forbury Gardens in Reading’s town centre around 7pm yesterday night.
A distressing video on social media has shown four people on the floor, surrounded by witnesses and officers.
In the video, officers were seen giving CPR to the victims who were covered in blood.
One person can be heard shouting: “He’s still breathing”, while another, presumably a medic, is asking for a defibrillator.
Authorities have urged people not to share the shocking footage on social media, but contact police instead.
At least two people are being treated for knife wounds in hospital.
One eyewitness, who said he was around 10 metres from the scene, said the attack looked “completely random”.
Lawrence Wort, 20, a personal trainer from Chippenham, said: “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.
“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.”
Dan, 26, told The Daily Mirror he saw blood spurting and victims dropping “like a weight” as a man appeared to be “tapping them on the head”.
He said: “I thought they were playing duck duck goose and thought someone had been sick, we realised it was blood spraying out.”
The knifeman “shouted some unintelligible words,” according to another witness, before stabbing his victims in the neck and under their arms.
A hero police officer also reportedly spotted the suspect running away with a knife and “rugby tackled him to the ground.”
Thames Valley Police said: “Police attended at around 7pm along with other emergency services.
“Officers arrested a man at the scene who is now in police custody.
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“A number of people sustained injuries and were taken to hospital.
“A police cordon is in place in Forbury Gardens as officers investigate. We are asking the public to avoid the area at this time.”
South Central Ambulance Service said five ambulance crews as well as two air ambulance services were among the resources sent to treat the casualties.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thoughts are with all of those affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “Deeply concerned to hear reports of an incident in Reading.
“My thoughts are with everyone involved, including police and emergency responders at the scene.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the stabbing was “very concerning”.
Earlier today a Black Lives Matter protest was held in the park with the Forbury Gardens bandstand used to deliver speeches.
Thames Valley Police said: “There is no indication that this incident is linked to the Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Reading today.”
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Councillor Jason Brock, leader of Reading Council, tweeted: “Concerning reports from Reading town centre – please stay clear of the area as Police are dealing with a serious incident.
“@ReadingCouncil are in touch with the emergency services and will support them as necessary.”
An eyewitness tweeted: “Not looking good down here folks so best avoid round by The Forbury and let the emergency services do their thing. We are lucky to have them.”
Reading stabbings – What we know so far
There have been multiple victims following a mass stabbing attack in Reading’s town centre.
Here is what we know so far about the incident:
– A number of people were stabbed by a man in Forbury Gardens in Reading’s town centre around 7pm on Saturday night.
– At least two people are being treated for knife wounds in hospital.
– Thames Valley Police (TVP) said a man was arrested at the scene and taken into police custody.
– The source added the man who was arrested is Libyan.
– Lawrence Wort, 20, who said he was around 10 metres from the attack, said the attacker “shouted unintelligible words” before attacking multiple groups of people, adding: “when he realised everyone was starting to run, he ran out the park.”
– South Central Ambulance Service said five ambulance crews as well as two air ambulance services were among the resources sent to treat the casualties.
– TVP added there was no indication that the incident was linked to a Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Reading earlier in the day.