Police officer says 'instinct took over' as he ran towards screams during Manchester station stabbings

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green

A police sergeant who was injured in a suspected terror attack on New Year's Eve has said "instinct took over" as he ran towards the knifeman.

Sergeant Lee Valentine, of the British Transport Police, was one of three people injured in the knife attack at Manchester Victoria station at about 9pm on Monday.

He has since been praised for his bravery in tackling the assailant during the New Year's Eve attack.

A 25-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, has been detained under the Mental Health Act and a counter-terrorism investigation is under way.

Speaking on Wednesday, shortly after being discharged from hospital with a stab wound to his shoulder, Sergeant Valentine said: "We had no idea what we were running towards when we heard the screams on New Year's Eve.

"When we saw the man wielding a knife, instinct took over and we were able to, in company with Travel Safe Officers from Metrolink, successfully detain the male."

  • BTP Chief Constable Paul Crowther praises officers

During the "frenzied" attack, which took place around 9pm, Sergeant Valentine was stabbed and a couple in their fifties suffered multiple stab wounds.

They were taken to hospital with "serious" but non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses said the suspect shouted "Allah" and "Long live the Caliphate!" as he attacked.

Police chiefs later praised the officers who detained the suspect as "fearless".

The suspect was later detained under the Mental Health Act. Credit: PA

BTP's Chief Constable, Paul Crowther, said he was "humbled" by the "tenacity and dedication" of the officers.

"This horrific incident underlines the bravery of our officers, who selflessly ran towards danger to help keep the public safe," he said.

"As the first officers on the scene, their quick-thinking and outstanding response helped to prevent more passengers being hurt and stands as a testament to the force."

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

The suspect's home was searched on New Year's Day.

A property in Cheetham Hill was searched on New Year's Day. Credit: PA