Counter-terrorism police are investigating after three people were stabbed at a shopping centre in central Manchester by a man who was “lunging at multiple people”.
A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has said.
Footage from the scene showed an officer pointing a Taser at a man lying on his front on the ground, with a second officer on top of him.
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said one patient had suffered “serious” injuries.
Earlier, Greater Manchester Police had said five people were stabbed, but the force has now confirmed that three were wounded and taken to hospital.
A spokesperson said: “A 19-year-old woman was taken to hospital with stab wounds. Another woman was also taken to hospital with stab injuries. Both their conditions are described as stable.
“A man in his 50s has also been taken to hospital with stab wounds.
“A fourth victim – a woman in her 40s – who was not stabbed – has been assessed and did not need to go to hospital following assessment by paramedics.”
Police have also said they are “keeping an open mind about the motivation of this terrible incident and the circumstances as we know them”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “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.”
North West Ambulance Service said they were called out at 11.17am.
A shop worker, who gave his name only as Jordan, 23, described a man “running around with a knife lunging at multiple people” – and said someone had come into the store “visibly shaken with a small graze”.
He added: “Soon after, security staff told all retail staff to close their doors and move the public to the back of the stores.”
Jordan, who has only been working at the centre for a few months, said the attack took place on the ground floor.
Footage also showed police officers running through the centre and several emergency services vehicles parked outside.
Witnesses say that people have been evacuated from the Arndale.
Freddie Houlder, 22, from Market Drayton was in the Arndale centre when he heard “a load of screams just outside” the shop he was in.
He said a woman then came into the shop and told others “a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me”.
Mr Houlder added: “Luckily she had quite a thick jacket – she thought originally it was a fake knife because of how easily it grazed off but police came in and said it was a real knife and she burst in to tears.
“I definitely don’t think it was gang violence because this guy was going around trying to stab random people, I believe,” he added.
Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s deputy mayor for policing, said the scene had been secured and praised the city’s emergency services for their “swift and professional action”.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, thanked police and urged people to stay away from the scene.
The shopping centre remains closed and a police cordon is in place near to the Shudehill entrance to the building, with a number of marked police vehicles outside including two carrying dogs.
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Four people are being treated after a stabbing outside a shopping centre in Manchester. North West Ambulance Service said they were called out in relation to the stabbings, but they did not confirm the nature of the injuries. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed they are at the scene of the incident at the Arndale, which is in the city centre.