A Tallahassee woman, who is the wife of a Florida State University professor teaching abroad, was killed in a London knife rampage Wednesday evening.
The brutal attack in the London tourist hub of Russell Square left 64-year-old Darlene Horton, the wife of FSU psychology professor Richard Wagner, dead the day the university’s summer study abroad program ended.
Wagner was teaching in the summer study abroad program. Students had already returned to the U.S., but he and Horton remained, university officials said. The couple was expected to return to Florida today.
Russell Square is about two blocks from the FSU Study Centre in London.
“There are no words to express our heartache over this terrible tragedy,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “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.”
Horton was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other people were injured in the knife attack in London’s tourist hub, police said Thursday.
FSU Director of International Programs James Pitts said university officials in London immediately started providing assistance to Wagner.
A Norwegian teenager of Somali origin has been arrested in connection with the crime.
Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley identified the suspect as a Norwegian national of Somali ancestry. He said police had so far found no evidence of radicalization or anything that would suggest that he was motivated by terrorism.
The five people injured are Australian, American, Israeli and British, Rowley said.
“Whilst the investigation is not yet complete — all of the work that we have done so far, increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues,” he said.
“At this time we believe this was a spontaneous attack and the victims were selected at random.”
Police were called to reports of a man attacking people with a knife in Russell Square, near the British Museum in central London — an area visited by many tourists — at about 10.30 p.m. local time Wednesday. Officers arrived at the scene soon afterward and the 19-year-old suspect was tasered and taken to a hospital.
SOURCE: Karl Etters
The Tallahassee Democrat