Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Manchester Victoria station stabbings suspect detained under Mental Health Act amid "terror investigation'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

A terror suspect arrested after a "frenzied" New Year's Eve stabbing at Manchester Victoria station which left three people hurt, has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the 25 year-old, who is being held on suspicion of attempted murder, has been assessed by specialist medical staff.

On Tuesday, police searched the suspect's home as he was questioned by counter-terror officers after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

The Counter Terrorism investigation remains ongoing, however, police say "there is nothing to suggest the involvement of other people in this attack".

The suspect, from the Cheetham Hill area of the city, is not said to be cooperating with police, and reportedly would not confirm his details.

While the New Year's Eve incident is being treated as a suspected terrorist attack, police said they are keeping "an open mind in relation to the motivation".

Also on Tuesday, the "fearless" police officers who detained the suspected were praised for their actions.

Four British Transport Police (BTP) officers at the station rushed to the Metrolink platforms after hearing a disturbance, confronting the suspect with Tasers and pepper spray.

One of the officers was stabbed in the shoulder, while a couple in their 50s suffered multiple stab wounds in the "frenzied" attack at around 9pm.

The couple remain in hospital with "serious" but not life-threatening injuries.

The police officer has been discharged from hospital.

Witnesses said the suspect shouted "Allah" and "Long live the Caliphate!" during the incident.

Two knives were recovered at the scene but police do not yet know if both were used in the attack.

There is nothing to suggest anyone else was involved in the attack, police said.

  • GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins gives an update:

Police are still trying to establish whether the suspect is a British national and how he came to be at Manchester Victoria Station, part of the same building complex with Manchester Arena, scene of a suicide terror bombing which killed 22 people in May 2017.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "We are obviously considering his mental health given how frenzied the attack was, it's random nature but also consider the fact that it's at the same location as the Manchester (Arena) attack."

Theresa May praised the "courageous response" of the officers involved.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

While Home Secretary Sajid Javid commended the "swift and brave" actions of the police.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

BTP Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said: “I am incredibly proud of the four officers who were immediately on scene last night, detaining a man who was wielding a knife.

"They were fearless, running towards danger and preventing further harm coming to passengers."

Manchester Victoria station re-opened on Tuesday morning. Credit: PA

ACC Jackson told reporters that police believe they have identified the suspect.

Mr Jackson said: "We are currently searching an address in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester.

"We know the attacker arrived at the location and soon after he attacked two people, a man and a woman, who have suffered very serious injuries.

"Whilst serious thankfully these are not life threatening."

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, described it as a "vile attack" but said it could have been much more serious were it not for the "outstanding bravery and professionalism" of the BTP officers.

Manchester Victoria station re-opened on Tuesday morning.

Sam Clack, a BBC producer, was on a platform at Manchester Victoria railway station waiting for a tram home when he witnessed the attack.

The 38-year-old said: "I just heard this most blood-curdling scream and looked down the platform.

"What it looked like was a guy in his 60s with a woman of similar age and another guy all dressed in black.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

"It looked like they were having a fight but she was screaming in this blood-curdling way.

"I saw police in high-vis come towards him.

"He came towards me. I looked down and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good 12-inch blade.

"It was just fear, pure fear."

Mr Clack said police officers used a Taser and pepper spray before "six or seven" officers jumped on the man and held him down.