A heroic cop who took down the evil individual who killed three innocent members of the public and wounded many others in a park in Reading on Saturday has been praised for his selfless actions.
At around 19:00 hours on Saturday, a deranged knifeman started to indiscriminately stab members of the public as they enjoyed some downtime with their family and friends.
Reports are that the male, believed to be a 25-year-old Libyan asylum seeker by the name of Khairi Saadallah, repeatedly stabbed his victims in the neck and under their arms.
As people started to realise what was happening, they fled from the park and Thames Valley Police was inundated with 999 calls from terrified members of the public.
As police and ambulance resources arrived on the scene, first-aid trained police officers started giving CPR to some of the victims until their colleagues in the emergency ambulance/air ambulance/ HART arrived on the scene.
One of the police officers who responded to the call saw the suspect as he ran like a coward from the scene.
The officer – who was only carrying some incapacitant spray as well as a baton – rugby tackled the deranged knifeman to the ground and held him there until further units arrived at the scene.
Statement from the Chief Constable, John Campbell about the terrorism incident in Reading:
“At 6.56 pm we received a report that a number of people had been stabbed in Forbury Gardens in Reading.
“Tragically, three people have died, and others were injured in this attack.
“Lives have been devastated, and at this time, the thoughts of all my officers and staff at Thames Valley Police are with those who have been affected in this tragic incident.
“Within five minutes of the first call, officers had apprehended a man and made an arrest. He remains in police custody at this time.
“I am sure we would all want to recognise the bravery of those police officers responding, but also that a number of members of the public were helping my officer’s and the victims at what was a very distressing scene.
“My thanks on behalf of Thames Valley Police goes to them too.
Craig O’Leary, Chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation, said:
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the families of those who lost loved ones in the horrific incident last night, and we wish our very best to those still injured.
“There can be no doubt that the swift response of our Thames Valley Police colleagues saved further harm from being caused and potentially more lives from being lost.
“There are barely words to describe their bravery – officers who ran towards danger with the sole thought of protecting the public we serve. Other colleagues valiantly rushed to the scene to try and save and preserve life.
“While the investigation into this incident continues, what we can say is the public can rightly be proud of their emergency services today.
“We are offering our colleagues involved in this incident our full support.”
Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations) Neil Basu said:
“This was an atrocity, and my deepest sympathies go to the families who will be mourning loved ones after this horrific act, and to all those who have been affected by it.
“We are working with the coroner to formally identify those who have died and to inform and support their relatives.
“I want to praise the actions of Thames Valley Police colleagues who responded immediately at the scene and detained the attacker nearby.
“I also want to pay tribute to the bravery of members of the public who provided emergency first aid at the scene”.
The family of James Furlong, one of the victims who was killed paid tribute to their much-loved family member.
His parents Gary and Janet said:
“James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun.
“He was the best son, brother, uncle and partner you could wish for. We are thankful for the memories he gave us all. We will never forget him, and he will live in our hearts forever.”
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