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Wife of Florida State University Professor Killed in London Knife Attack

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A 64-year-old American woman was killed in a London stabbing attack Wednesday that left five others injured, according to police. Darlene Horton was the wife of Richard Wagner, a psychology professor at Florida State University who had been teaching at a summer study abroad program in London.

The attack, which occurred at 10:30 p.m. in Central London, was called into police when visitors at the popular tourist attraction reported a man yielding a knife. Upon their arrival to the scene, law enforcement was able to apprehend the suspect, a 19-year-old Norwegian man, and stop him from inflicting further harm. According to NBC News, no shots were fired as the police arrested the suspect, whose identity has yet to be confirmed.

Throughout the investigation thus far, police have said that the incident was in no way linked to terrorism.

USA Today reports that mental illness could have played a “significant factor” in the incident.

"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," Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters, according to a video by the Associated Press. “At this time we believe this was a spontaneous attack and the victims were selected at random."

The attack comes as London remains on edge due to recent terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Germany. In order to help visitors and residents feel safe, the number of armed officers patrolling the streets of the city will increase.

Back in the U.S., where Horton and her husband were supposed to return Thursday, FSU President John Thrasher issued a statement on the tragic attack.

"There are no words to express our heartache over this 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.”


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