A man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism after a mass stabbing situation unfolded at the Arndale Centre in Manchester, England, Greater Manchester Police confirmed in a statement. Police said that specialist officers were responding, and three people were stabbed and taken to the hospital, and a fourth person was assessed by paramedics.
Authorities said a man with a large knife began “lunging and attacking people,” but no one has life-threatening wounds. The attack was described as random and “brutal.” According to the Sun, the suspect is believed to be British and from Manchester, and is accused of shouting “I am going to f*ck you up” as he ran around stabbing people.
Shopper Freddie Houlder, 22, told the Sun of the unidentified suspect: “He was running around going for as many people as possible.”
“We do not know the motivation for this terrible attack. It appears random, it’s certainly brutal and of course extremely frightening for anyone who witnessed it,” Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said in a news conference. We have arrested a man, a male in his 40s, on suspicion of terrorism because of the nature and circumstances of this attack. This is bound to bring back memories of the awful memories of 2017. At this time, we do not believe there is anyone else involved in this attack.”
Earlier police had written: “In these early stages we are keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them.” Police added: “Given the location of the incident and its nature officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.”
Police referred to the incident as a “multiple stabbing at the Arndale shopping centre at 11:15 a.m.” They said that the victims included a 19-year-old woman and a second woman who were in stable condition and had “stab injuries.” A man in his 50s was also taken to the hospital with stab wounds. The fourth victim, a woman in her 40s, was not stabbed, and was not stabbed after being assessed by paramedics.
“We are currently responding to an incident at the Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester City Centre,” Greater Manchester Police wrote in an earlier statement. “Officers are in attendance and early enquiries suggest that several people have been stabbed.”
The police constable said: “The man attacked people around him,” and added that two community police officers had confronted him.
Police confirmed that “a man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault. He has been taken to custody for questioning. Enquiries remain ongoing.” CNN later reported that he’s now being held on “suspicion, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism.” His age was later given as 41. Here’s the police statement:
“Shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected. Thank you to our excellent emergency services who responded and who are now investigating what happened,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted.
Here’s what you need to know:
Video Circulated on Twitter After News Reports That Police Arrested a Man in His 40s
The centre was evacuated, according to the Manchester Evening News. Some unconfirmed reports indicated that people might have been stabbed at a Starbucks. “My brother works in The Works in Manchester Arndale and he said 4 people were stabbed in Starbucks, what the f*ck is this world coming too (sic),” a person wrote on Twitter. A photo appeared to show law enforcement clustered in a Starbucks. The Sun reported that the stabbings occurred in and around Starbucks.
Earlier reports had indicated five people were stabbed but police later updated their release to state it was four injured with three stabbed. A video circulating on social media showed law enforcement officers subduing a man with a taser. It was taken on Church Street outside Arndale Center. Photos and video showed a large law enforcement response to the scene. “Well done to @gmpolice for a ridiculously quick response to the stabbings at the Arndale. It’s a little scary thinking it’s happened just round the corner from where I am but it’s comforting so know we have such awesome coppers. Lots of positive thoughts to everyone involved x,” a woman wrote on Twitter.
According to BBC, Arndale is a shopping centre located in the city centre of Manchester.
A Manchester Evening News reporter indicated that he saw a man “randomly” stabbing people. University of Salford Travel Office wrote on Twitter, “Please be aware there is an on-going incident in Manchester Centre around the Arndale Shopping Centre. If you are travelling from Victoria or Picadilly please stay away from the Arndale at this time. Trams have stopped operating at Exchange Square, so please alternate transport.”
People expressed concern on social media. “Is this another terrorist attack at the Arndale centre or do we call it something different these days ?,” wrote one Twitter user.
“…my Mum was evacuated from the Arndale but they just said it was due to an incident,” a woman wrote on Twitter. “what’s going on at arndale I’ve just walked past and everyone’s outside?” wrote another woman.