A man has described the moment he saw an unarmed police officer rugby tackle the suspect in the Reading knife attack to the ground.
The witness, Sydney McDonald, said he had just finished work at around 7pm on Saturday when he saw four police cars head towards the crime scene in Forbury Gardens – a park in the town centre.
He told Sky News: “The police car did a U-turn in the road. There’s two of them that did a U-turn, and they were chasing him with the car and they pulled beside him.
“And as they pulled beside him, they came out from the car and they rugby tackled him in the middle of the road.”
Mr McDonald hailed the bravery of the officer who detained the suspect, saying: “He was doing his job, and he did a good job.
“He tackled him to the floor. He didn’t hurt him.”
On the ground, the suspect was rolled over on to his stomach by the officers, who put his hands behind his back.
“And there was rather a lot of blood,” Mr McDonald said.
“And I shouted, ‘oh my God’.
“It was serious, it was very serious.”
Mr McDonald said the suspect was handcuffed as one of the officers put his knee on the man’s shoulder.
The witness described the man as “very quiet” and he was then put in a police van.
He said the suspect was “just sitting there…looking into space”.
Khairi Saadallah, 25, remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.
He was later re-arrested under terrorism laws.
His brother and sister told Sky News how they were “shocked and surprised” when they heard the news that he is suspected of killing three men on Saturday evening.
Scientist David Wails, 49, US citizen Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, and history teacher James Furlong, 36, died in the attack, while three other people needed hospital treatment.
On Tuesday, Mr Wails’s family paid tribute to him, saying: “David was a kind and much loved son, brother and uncle, who never hurt anyone in his life.”
The statement from his parents added: “We are broken-hearted at losing him and in such a terrible way. We will treasure our wonderful memories of him and he will always be with us in our hearts.”
Mr Ritchie-Bennett, 39, was originally from Philadelphia in the US, but had been living in the UK for 15 years.
He worked for a pharmaceutical company in Reading.
His father Robert Ritchie, a retired police chief inspector, described his son as “marvellous, loving and caring” and “like a magnet”, bringing people together.
Mr Furlong’s 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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