Russell Square stabbings: Darlene Horton named as victim – BBC News

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Darlene Horton and her husband Richard Wagner had planned to return to Tallahassee on Thursday

The US citizen killed in a knife attack in central London has been named by police as 64-year-old Darlene Horton.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after she was killed and five other people were injured in Russell Square.

Florida State University (FSU) has confirmed Ms Horton was the wife of psychology professor Richard Wagner.

Two other women and three men received various injuries in the attack, which happened near the Imperial Hotel.

One person from the group remains in hospital while the others have since been discharged. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

After receiving treatment in hospital, the arrested man, who was detained in Bedford Place, is now in police custody in south London.

Media captionAmateur footage shows a man on the ground being detained by police

Norwegian police said in a statement the man had emigrated from Norway in 2002 and they were assisting London police.

The Met said they had searched an address in north London on Thursday morning and another will be searched in south London.

The US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, said of the woman who died: “Heartbreaking news that a US citizen was killed in #RussellSquare attack. My prayers are with all the victims and their loved ones.”

FSU President John Thrasher spoke of the university’s “heartache” over the “terrible tragedy”.

He said: “We are shocked that such senseless violence has touched our own FSU family, and we will do all we can to assist Professor Wagner and his loved ones, as well as his friends and colleagues in the Psychology department, as they mourn.”

The couple had planned to return home to Tallahassee on Thursday.

Image copyright Rehana Azam
Image caption Emergency services were pictured at the scene in the aftermath of the attack

Police believe the attack on Wednesday was “spontaneous”, with victims “selected at random”.

The injured people were from the UK, the US, Israel and Australia.

Met Police assistant commissioner for specialist operations Mark Rowley said the investigation was increasingly pointing to the attack being “triggered by mental health issues”.

He had earlier said the force was considering terrorism as a line of inquiry.

Mr Rowley, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, told a press conference it had been necessary to consider “all possibilities” following recent terror attacks across Europe.

Media captionMetropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley spoke at Scotland Yard

Armed police entered the square shortly after 22:30 BST on Wednesday having received reports of a man attacking people with a knife.

They arrived within six minutes and chased the suspect, who eyewitnesses said had blood on his hands.

They said police ordered him to stand still but he kept running. He was then Tasered by officers.

Image caption A forensics tent was put up next to the park in Russell Square which is a busy part of central London, with many hotels and the British Museum nearby

Jodie Parry, who witnessed the events unfold from her hotel window, said she saw a man running down the street.

“I could hear the policeman screaming ‘stop, don’t move, don’t go any further, just stay where you are’, and he turned round and continued running,” she said.

She added that the man was carrying a knife and had blood on his hands.

Paul Geibheannaigh, who lives near to the square, said he had seen the body of the woman “on the pavement” and the area was surrounded by a “heavy armed police presence”.

Media captionWitness Paul Geibheannaigh: “We saw the body lying on the pavement”

Mr Rowley said there would be an increased police presence on the streets in the wake of the attack – including armed officers – to “provide reassurance and safety”.

Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force’s “swift response undoubtedly helped prevent more people from getting injured”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan cut short his holiday following the attack and will hold a briefing at City Hall at 15:30 BST.

He said police were doing an “incredibly difficult job” and the safety of Londoners was his “number one priority”.

The Met said the attack was not linked to a separate stabbing in Wandsworth, south-west London, on Wednesday, in which one man was killed and two others injured.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sir Bernard and Mr Khan had said there would be more armed police seen on patrol in London.

Sir Bernard announced the move to reassure the public and deter attackers following terror attacks in Europe.

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