Reading stabbings: Witness saw man knife people 'in the neck and arms'

21 June 2020, 08:33

There were multiple stabbings in a park in Reading
There were multiple stabbings in a park in Reading. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A witness has said he saw "blood spurting" after a man knifed multiple people "in the neck and arms" on Saturday in Forbury Gardens in Reading.

The witness, who has not been named, said victims dropped "like a weight" after a man appeared to "tap them on the head" indiscriminately.

He also said he saw "blood spurting" after a man appeared to "attack at random", Mirror Online reports.

Another witness said the knifeman "shouted some unintelligible words" and stabbed victims "in the neck and under their arms."

The accounts come after three people were killed and and another three people were seriously injured when a knifeman launched an attack on a group of people in a park in Reading.

Emergency services rushed to the scene in Forbury Gardens at around 7pm on Saturday, following reports of a knifeman who had "suddenly" started to attack a group of around 10 people who were sitting in the park.

Police have confirmed it as a terrorist incident.

A witness told LBC News: “Maybe just after seven o’clock, we saw an air ambulance come over and we heard multiple sirens and then a second air ambulance arrived about ten minutes later, and they were there for about two hours before they were stood down.”

Armed police were at the scene
Armed police were at the scene. Picture: PA

A witness told the Sunday Mirror that a "hero police officer rugby tackled" the suspect to the ground after he saw him running away with a knife.

The witness continued: “A man pulled a knife and started attacking people at random in Reading, near the Crown Court. It is thought there was one attacker.

"It appeared the attack was stopped when a lone sergeant, who responded when the alarm was raised, ran to the scene, saw the attacker running away with a knife and rugby tackled him to the ground.”

Dan, a 26-year-old local, said he was drinking wine in the park with two friends when he noticed a commotion about 20 metres away.

He said he and his friends had chosen a spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine when he saw a man approach a group "just in a circle chatting".

The man drew his attention because he appeared to be racing around the group "tapping them on the head".

Reflecting on the disturbing moment he realised it was an attack, Dan said: "I thought they were playing duck duck goose and thought someone had been sick, we realised it was blood spraying out."

Dan said he saw the man take a blow to a woman's neck- but couldn't be sure if he was using a knife as he and his friends never got a close look at the weapon, and he said the woman "dropped like a weight."

He added: "I saw a man with his face bleeding but stood up. When the first 2 people were stabbed the group stood up, and two of the people who dropped to the ground were stood up.

"It was strange - not like you see in films, there was no screaming. "We were running by people dancing in groups - they hadn't seen what happened."

A local woman, who did not want to be named, told The Independent the flat where the suspect lived iss council-owned and is often used as temporary accommodation.

“First there were armed response cars, and then unmarked vans with armed police wearing balaclavas turned up,” she siad.

Personal trainer Lawrence Wort, 20, who said he was around 10 metres from the attack, said: "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."

Freelance journalist Claire Gould, 33, who lives near the scene, told reporters she saw the emergency vehicles land on the nearby Kings Meadow as a police helicopter circled overhead.

She described hearing lots of sirens and said surrounding roads and a retail park had been cordoned off by officers.