David Wails Image copyright Social media
Image caption David Wails “always made people smile”, a friend said

The third person killed in the Reading stabbings has been named.

David Wails was among the victims of the attack in a public park on Saturday. Joe Ritchie-Bennett and his friend James Furlong also died.

Meanwhile, police continue to question the suspect, Khairi Saadallah, who was arrested shortly after the incident under the Terrorism Act.

Sources told the BBC he was originally from Libya and came to the attention of MI5 in 2019.

Friend Michael Main said Mr Wails “always made people smile”.

“We’d have a lot of banter… it’s sad to know he’s gone so early,” he added.

Police were called to Reading’s Forbury Gardens at about 19:00 BST on Saturday.

Witnesses say a lone attacker with a knife shouted “unintelligible words” and stabbed several people who were in a group.

Three other people suffered serious injuries in the attack, but only one remains in hospital. His condition is described as stable.

Mr Ritchie-Bennett, 39, was originally from Philadelphia but had lived in the UK for 15 years, his father confirmed to US TV network CBS.

Robert Ritchie said the family was “heartbroken” and described his son as “brilliant and loving”.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Joe Ritchie-Bennett had lived in the UK for 15 years

Mr Furlong, 36, was a teacher and head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham.

His parents Gary and Janet described their son as “beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun”.

A two-minute silence was held at 10:00 BST for the three victims.

Image caption James Furlong was described as an “inspirational” teacher

One of Mr Furlong’s former pupils, Molly Collins, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was a “passionate and enthusiastic” teacher who dedicated extra time to helping students progress.

More than 100 students, some holding hands, gathered at the gates as a bell rang out to mark the start of the silence at The Holt School, while a flag in the courtyard was lowered to half-mast.

In an open letter, former pupils and parents have asked for the school’s humanities block to be renamed in Mr Furlong’s memory.

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Media captionPupils and staff at The Holt School, Wokingham paid tribute to James Furlong

Martin Cooper said he had known Mr Richie-Bennett for four years and Mr Furlong for at least two, having met them at the Blagrave Arms in Reading – a pub where they were regulars.

Mr Cooper, who is chief executive of LGBT+ charity Reading Pride, added that Mr Richie-Bennett and Mr Furlong were “great supporters” and members of the community.


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