THE second Forbury Gardens 'terror attack' victim has been named as Joe Ritchie-Bennett.

Tributes posted on social media have been paying their respects to the 'wonderful, funny man' who it is believed lost his life in the multiple stabbings on Saturday night.

Reports on social media suggest Mr Ritchie-Bennett was friends with James Furlong who has already been named by police as one of three people killed in the attack.

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National reports suggest Mr Ritchie-Bennett is from Philadelphia but had been living in the UK for the past 15 years.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, his father Robert Ritchie said: "The family is heartbroken they have lost their brilliant and loving son. This was senseless."

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reported that he was 39 and in an interview with the paper his father added: "I absolutely love my son with all of my heart and all of my soul."

Mr Ritchie-Bennett's brother, also called Robert Ritchie, a captain in the Philadelphia police force, told the paper: "I love him. I always have. I always will. He was a great guy.

"We used to play together every day. We rode bikes together every day. Our family is heartbroken and beside ourselves. He did not deserve to go out like this."

Tributes posted online also include emotional messages from several friends, they also suggest that his partner Ian Ritchie-Bennett passed away a few years ago.

One tribute said: "Absolutely devastated at the loss of our friends Joe and James. Two wonderful people taken far too soon.

"Condolences to their families and friends. Our hearts are with all the victims and the people of Reading."

Another said: "I'm devastated and heartbroken.

"My thoughts are with your families.

"Joe and James were two of the kindest, genuine, and loveliest people I have had the pleasure of knowing.

"Rest in Peace, and I hope you are both having a drink together, I'm raising a glass to you both and thinking of all the happy memories."

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One friend posted an emotional tribute on Twitter.

A US State Department spokesman said: "We are aware of the alleged act of terrorism in Reading, United Kingdom, on June 20, resulting in the death of a US citizen.

"Our staff in the United Kingdom and here in the United States are working to provide consular assistance to the victim's family.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of all of those affected. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have nothing further to add at this time."

Thames Valley Police are yet to confirm the identity of two of the victims, while it released a family tribute in memory of James Furlong yesterday evening.

We have opened a BOOK OF CONDOLENCE for Joe Ritchie-Bennet. You can leave your tribute using the form below. 

Tributes to Joe Ritchie-Bennett

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