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One of three killed in Britain stabbing attack identified as American man

One of three killed in Britain stabbing attack identified as American man
Police stand guard outside an apartment believed to be the home of the man who attacked three people in Reading, Britain, on Saturday. Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

June 22 (UPI) -- An American man has been identified as one of the three people killed during a stabbing spree in a British city over the weekend, which police are investigating as a terrorist incident.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, originally from Philadelphia, was among the victims of the Saturday attack at a park in Reading, his family told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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They said Ritchie-Bennett moved to Britain about 15 years ago and worked for a Dutch pharmaceutical company with offices in the city, located about 40 miles west of London.

"I love him. I always have. I always will," Robert Ritchie, a captain in the Philadelphia Police Department said of his brother. "He was a great guy. He was four years younger than me. I had a paper route at 12 and he helped me every day. I used to buy him something every two weeks to thank him."

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A 25-year-old refugee from Libya was arrested on suspicion of murder at his apartment a short distance from the scene of the attack.

British history teacher James Furlong and another person were killed and three others were seriously wounded in the incident.

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The Telegraph reported the suspect was known to the MI5 security service and remained under questioning early Monday.

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British Home Secretary Priti Patel has visited the park Monday morning to pay her respects and lay flowers at the site of the attack. She was expected to make a statement about in the attack in Parliament.

"This evening we saw a senseless attack on people simply enjoying a Saturday evening with family and friends," Patel said in a statement issued Saturday.

"My heart, prayers and thoughts are with all of those affected and to the people of Reading who will be deeply shocked and concerned by this terrible incident."

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