Saturday 12 October 2019

Teenager, 19, on a 'girly weekend with friends' is among five people stabbed after knifeman 'lunged' at shoppers in Manchester's Arndale Centre

'Terror attacker' arrested as five people stabbed in Arndale Centre
Police have tonight detained a man under the Mental Health Act after five people, including a teenage girl, were stabbed at a Manchester shopping centre by a suspect 'lunging at people with a 12-inch knife'.

Five people were injured during the attack which saw customers at Manchester’s Arndale Centre flee in fear and seek refuge in shops.

Shocking pictures showed the 41-year-old man dressed in a black jacket being pinned face-down on the pavement by police armed with Tasers. He was arrested as a terror suspect.

Witnesses described the suspect as carrying a machete as he began ‘running around’ and ‘going for as many people as possible’.

Others described it as ‘like something out of a horror film’, with shoppers running in panic, shouting ‘knife’ and ‘bomb’, while police and paramedics raced to the scene. Announcements ordered shoppers to evacuate the building while an internal app advised store workers to close their shutters and take cover.

Within five minutes the suspect was detained alongside tram tracks outside the Arndale Centre, with one witness saying his weapon was ‘about 12 inches long and looked like a machete’.

It is understood the suspect – believed to be a British national from Manchester – was not previously known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police. Tonight he was being detained under the Mental Health Act.

One of the victims was identified as Chloe McGurk, 19, from Northern Ireland.

A friend, Ellen Da Conceicao, who was with her at the time, wrote on Facebook: ‘All we wanted to do came over to Manchester for a girly weekend, but instead the first shopping centre we step into this happens. We’re all so shaken and can’t for the life of us understand how someone could be so low to do this to our Chloe and other victims.

‘I can’t get that man’s face and knife out of my head and probably won’t for a very long time. Chloe is on the mend and thanks to everyone for their support.’

Miss McGurk is thought to have stab and slash injuries to her hand. She was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Three other women, including one in her 40s and two others whose ages are unknown, were injured along with a man in his 50s. Two are in a stable condition in hospital but none of their injuries are said to be life-threatening. 

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