A Philadelphia native who moved to England 15 years ago for work was fatally stabbed in a Reading park over the weekend, according to his father.
Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, was one of the three victims stabbed to death late Saturday, his dad, retired chief inspector Robert Ritchie, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ritchie-Bennett, who merged his last name with his husband when they got married in 2006, moved to London to work for a law firm, then moved to Reading when he took a job with a Dutch pharmaceutical company.
“We’re mourning, and we’re trying to decide what we’re going to do,” Ritchie told the Inquirer. “It’s 3,500 miles away. They are still in lockdown over there with the coronavirus, and I don’t know what else to say.”
Ritche-Bennett’s husband, Ian, died of colon cancer in 2014 at the age of 32.
His brother, Robert Ritchie, said he “did not deserve to go out like this.”
“I love him. I always have. I always will,” Ritchie, the 7th District police captain in Philadelphia, told the Inquirer. “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.
“We used to play together every day. We rode bikes together every day. Our family is heartbroken and beside ourselves.”
Ritchie-Bennet’s brother said he was stabbed “in his neck and armpits, so it would be fatal.”
British police have not confirmed the identities of the three people who were stabbed to death in Forbury Gardens Park in Reading around 7 p.m. local time Saturday. Three people were also injured.
An 25-year-old man was arrested and a local block of apartments were searched by police.
The Telegraph reported that the suspect is Khairi Saadallah, a refugee from Libya. He had previously served time for “a relatively minor conviction,” not terrorism, according to the BBC.
Dean Haydon, the U.K.‘s coordinator of counterterrorism policing, said Sunday that counterterror detectives were taking over the investigation.
This article is written by KATE FELDMAN from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.