A security guard who witnessed police detain the Reading terror suspect after he stabbed three people to death said he looked like he’d put his hands ‘in a big bucket of red paint’.
Sydney McDonald, 65, had just finished work around 7.10pm when he saw four police cars rushing to the Forbury Gardens and ‘driving pretty fast’. He then saw another man pointing to the knifeman and telling officers, ‘there he is, there he is’.
He continued: ‘[The suspect] was running really fast, properly fast. They put the emergency brakes on, jumped out of the car and rugby-tackled him to the floor. He was on his stomach and the blood on his hands looked like he had put his hand in a big bucket of red paint.
‘They put the handcuffs on, he wasn’t putting up a fight or anything like that, they picked him up and put him in the van, he just sat there all quiet, he wasn’t saying nothing.’
The suspect has now been named as Libyan asylum seeker Khairi Saadallah, 25. He remains in custody, and mental health is reportedly being considered a ‘major factor’ in the incident.
It was reported on Sunday that Saadallah was already known to MI5, after they were given information he wanted to travel to Syria.
However, security sources told the BBC that no immediate risk or genuine threat was identified when the information was investigated. A case file on him was therefore not opened, the sources said.
Investigators have confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the Reading attack, which has been confirmed as a terrorist incident. On Saturday, around 20 armed officers swarmed a four-storey block of flats about a mile from the park, while a helicopter could be seen circling overhead.
One victim has been named as teacher James Furlong, 36, who was head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham. The two other victims have not yet been named publicly, but their families have been informed.
In a statement, Mr Furlong’s parents Gary and Janet described their son as a ‘wonderful man’. They said: ‘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.’
Three people were also seriously injured in the attack and taken to hospital, two of whom has now been discharged. The third is said to be in a stable condition and remains under observation,