American named as second victim of Reading terror attack was friends with teacher who also died
The American Joe Ritchie-Bennett (left) was named as one of the victims of the Reading terrorist attack. (Facebook / PA)
The second victim of the Saturday terrorist attack in Reading has been named.
Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, an American from Philadelphia, was one of three people who were stabbed in the Forbury Gardens knife attack.
CBS Eyewitness News in Philadelphia said Ritchie-Bennett was one of the victims of the attack.
It has been reported that he had lived in the UK for the past 15 years, but his family still lives in Philadelphia.
The first victim of the attack that was named was James Furlong, 36, a teacher who was described as a "real sense of duty." Ritchie-Bennett and Furlong were friends, according to the awards published on social media.
Joe Ritchie-Bennett was killed in the Reading terrorist attack on Saturday. (Facebook)
A 25-year-old man, reportedly referred to as Khairi Saadallah, was arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack.
He was later arrested again under section 41 of the Terrorism Act, which gives the police powers to detain him for up to 14 days without charge.
Read more: Witnesses describe the moment when an attacker stabbed three people
Ritchie-Bennett had worked for a Dutch pharmaceutical company in Reading for the past 10 years.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ritchie-Bennett lost his husband Ian Bennett (32) to colon cancer in 2014.
His brother Robert Ritchie, a police captain in Philadelphia, said, “I love him. I have always. I'll always."
He said to the investigator, "He was a great guy. He was four years younger than me. When I was 12 I had a paper route and he helped me every day. I bought him something every two weeks to thank him.
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“We played together every day. We cycled together every day. Our family is heartbroken and outside of us. He didn't deserve to go out like this.
“No alleged act of terrorism will ever take away from my brother, his memory or the American spirit. Nobody can take that away. "
Read more: Terror suspect "became aware of MI5 last year"
The victim's father, Robert Ritchie, a retired police chief, told the newspaper that his son was an "absolutely fabulous guy".
He said, "I love my son with all my heart and soul."
US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, confirmed that an American citizen was killed in the attack in Reading.
A policeman stands next to floral tributes to the victims of the Reading terrorist attack outside the entrance to Forbury Gardens. (PA)
Forensics work near the Forbury Gardens in Reading city center after the Saturday terrorist attack. (PA)
He said, "I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the June 20 attack.
"One of our great grief is an American citizen. Our thoughts are with everyone concerned.
"We absolutely condemn the attack and have offered our support to the UK law enforcement agencies."
The press association reported that Saadallah, a refugee from the civil war in Libya, was brought to MI5's attention last year, but the information provided did not meet the investigation threshold.
PA reported that the MI5 had received information that it may want to travel abroad for terrorist reasons, but the threat was considered insignificant.
Boris Johnson said he was "horrified and sick" by the incident.
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