London stabbing victim's neighbors react to fatal tragedy

Darlene Horton / Photo: London Metropolitan Police / MGN
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By: Erika Fernandez
August 5, 2016
UPDATE 6:00 p.m.

We're learning more today about Darlene Horton. She's the Tallahassee woman killed during a stabbing rampage in London.

She and her husband were there as he taught summer classes at FSU's London campus. Neighbors say they were already shocked to hear someone from Tallahassee was the victim of this violent act. Now, they're devastated to learn someone in their own neighborhood was the victim of this stabbing.

According to neighbors, Horton and her husband, Richard Wagner, were very active in the community. Folks say they saw them walking around the neighborhood often. Horton played tennis at Killearn Country Club every Thursday and was a member at Premiere Gym where one neighbor said she taught Horton yoga.

"The neighborhood is just saddened at the loss and we really just want to support them and stand behind rick as he heals and recovers," said Liz Shashaty, neighbor and friend of Horton.

Wagner and Horton were supposed to return to Tallahassee yesterday. Neighbors also told us Darlene was a friendly, happy woman who loved the outdoors and, most of all, loved her family.


By: James Buechele
August 4, 2016
UPDATE 10:10 p.m.

Jim Pitts helps run the Florida State University study abroad program. It was just months ago that he was walking around the peaceful park known as Russell Square.

"It's a place where Londoners as well as tourists would go to relax and walk."

But that relaxing place turned anything but as a teenager stabbed six people including Darlene Horton, wife of FSU psych professor doctor Richard Wagner.

"I couldn't really believe it. I mean it's in a very safe and tranquil area of London."

Authorities in the UK say it appears the attacker suffered from mental illness and the attack was random in nature.

Still, it doesn't make the news any less tragic.

"Any professor that teaches for us in international programs and is part of the FSU family is really family to us."

It's a family that has and will have to rally again.

"We will continue to do that. Our London staff reached out to the professor and we will upon his return."

Darlene Horton's daughter issued the following statement:

There are not enough words to describe how amazing my mom has been to our family, our friends and the Tallahassee community. During this difficult time, my family and I have been trying to focus on all of the good memories we were able to share with her. My mom was a loving mother and role model to my sister and I and was an amazing wife to my father. I will never forget her heart of service, her love of traveling, and her smile that warmed the hearts of all those who knew her. These past few days have been the hardest days I've ever had to endure. It's truly incredible to see the overwhelming support from all of our friends, family, and community. There will be some hard times ahead of us in this journey, but we know that my mother will be with us every step of the way, guiding us with her kind heart and warm smile. We ask that everyone please respect the privacy of my family during this very difficult time.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 4, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The woman killed in a London attack Wednesday was the wife of a Florida State University professor, FSU officials have confirmed.

London Metropolitan Police say the victim is 64-year-old Darlene Horton.

FSU says she was the wife of Psychology professor Richard Wagner, and was fatally stabbed by a man wielding a knife in Russell Square.

Russell Square is steps away from the FSU Study Center in London.

According to Director of FSU International Program James Pitts, students had already left the program for the summer and none of them were involved in the incident.

“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.”

Wagner taught a summer session at the London Study Program. He is also the associate director of the Florida Center for Reading Research.

FSU officials say that the couple had planned to return to Tallahassee on Thursday.

Police had confirmed earlier Thursday that the woman killed in the attack was an American.

Five other people were injured in the attack, including an American, two Australians, an Israeli national and a British national.

London police confirm one victim remains hospitalized as of Thursday afternoon in serious but stable condition.

The suspect has been identified as Zacharia Bulhan, 19, according to CBS News.

Police in London say the incident wasn't terrorism, but appeared to be triggered by mental health issues.



 
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