The Wokingham Paper

Three dead, three seriously injured in Forbury Gardens attack: 25-year-old Reading man arrested on suspicion of murder

Forbury Gardens

A 25-year-old Reading man has been arrested by police on suspicion of murder after three people were killed in Forbury Gardens last night.

He was detained at the scene and is currently in police custody.

Another three people sustained serious injuries in the attack, which took place around 7pm.

Thames Valley Police have not confirmed the total number of people who have been injured, just saying that “a number of people” had been stabbed.

And contrary to reports in national media, they are NOT treating it as a terrorist incident, but keeping an open mind as to motives.

However, police also raided a block of flats off the Basingstoke Road last night and images from the raid showed that counter-terrorism specialist officers took part in it. It is not confirmed if it is connected with the Forbury Gardens incident.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Hunter, head of crime for Thames Valley Police, said: “We have launched a murder investigation following this incident.

“We have made one arrest and at this stage we are not looking for any other people in connection with this incident. There is no intelligence to suggest that there is any further danger to the public, however we urge people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious by calling police.

“This is not currently being treated as a terrorism incident, however officers are keeping an open mind as to the motivation for the incident and are being supported by colleagues from Counter Terrorism Policing South East.”

The police investigation is likely to continue throughout today.

“Police cordons continue to be in place and are likely to be for some time as we work to establish the circumstances of what has happened. You will also see an increased police presence in the area as we continue to make enquires,” DCS Hunter said.

“I would urge the public to avoid the area at this time and thank the community for their patience. We will let you know as soon as the area is back open.

Thames Valley Police have also sought to quash rumours that the event was linked to a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest march which had taken place in the town centre earlier in the day. This had finished in Forbury Gardens several hours before the incident.

“There have been some reports that this incident was linked to the Black Lives Matter protest which took place in Reading earlier this afternoon. I can confirm that this incident is not connected. It occurred around three hours after the protest had concluded,” DCS Hunter said.

And the force is asking people not to share any footage of the incident online, but instead to let officers working on the case have access to it.

“We are also aware that the incident was captured on mobile phones and would like to hear from anyone who has video footage,” DCS Hunter said.

“Out of respect for those deceased and injured, along with their loved ones, please do not circulate this footage on social media – this will be incredibly distressing.

“The thoughts of everyone at Thames Valley Police are with those who have been affected by this tragic incident and I understand the concern that this will have caused amongst the community. Please be assured that safety of the public is our primary concern and we will do all that we can to investigate this incident robustly and bring those responsible to justice.”

Anyone with information on what happened in Forbury Gardens should call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting reference 1159 20/6.

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