American woman killed in London knife attack was wife of Florida psychology professor

LONDON, Aug. 4 (UPI) — The only victim killed in a stabbing spree in London was the American wife of a Florida university professor, who is spending the summer in Great Britain, when the attack started, officials said Thursday.

Authorities identified the woman Thursday as Darlene Horton and said she and her husband were set to leave London to return to the United States just hours after the attack began in London’s Russell Square.

Husband Richard Wagner, a psychology professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee, had been spending the summer in London teaching a course, and his wife accompanied him on the trip.

Gov. Rick Scott/Twitter

“There are no words to express our heartache over this terrible tragedy,” Florida State University President John Thrasher 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.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott stated that he was “extremely saddened” to learn of the Floridian’s death.

Zakaria Bulhan, 19, a Norwegian-born migrant of Somali descent identified by police as the attacker, was arrested at the scene after being subdued by police with a stun gun.

No one besides Horton, 64, was killed in the attack but five others were injured — three men and two women. Four of the five were well enough to leave the hospital Thursday, officials said, but one of the men remains in stable condition there with lacerations to his stomach.

London Metropolitan Police/Twitter

Authorities are not yet sure about a motive but they are reportedly leaning away from terrorism as a possibility. They have said, though, that Bulhan may suffer from mental illness.

“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,” Asst. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said. “At this time, we believe this was a spontaneous attack and the victims were selected at random.”

Tuesday’s attack has once again ratcheted up security in the British capital — following unrelated terror-style attacks in Western Europe over the last few weeks, as well as the major attacks in Paris and Belgium before that.

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