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The Suspect In The New Year's Eve Manchester Stabbings Has Been Detained Under Mental Health Laws

A counterterror investigation is underway after three people, including a police officer, were stabbed.

Last updated on January 2, 2019, at 8:39 a.m. ET

Posted on December 31, 2018, at 7:10 p.m. ET

Phil Noble / Reuters

A counterterror investigation is underway after three people, including a police officer, were stabbed at a train station in Manchester, England, on Monday night as people gathered to celebrate the New Year.

The stabbing occurred at 8:52 p.m. local time at Manchester's Victoria station, according to the British Transport Police. One man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The 25-year-old suspect has been assessed by specialist medical staff and detained under the Mental Health Act, police said Tuesday.

Two civilians, a man and a woman in their fifties, were transported to a hospital with knife injuries. A British Transport Police officer in his thirties was also being treated for a stab wound to the shoulder, the agency said.

The suspect, who has not been named, remains in police custody. A property in the Cheetham Hill area of the city was searched on Tuesday, police said.

At a briefing on Tuesday morning, Greater Manchester police said they were keeping an "open mind" about the incident, which is being investigated by Counter Terror Policing North West.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a statement:

Last night we experienced a horrific attack on people out to simply enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Manchester. My thoughts are with the couple who are still being treated in hospital for their serious injuries and with the brave British Transport Police officer who was also stabbed during the attack...

Just before 9pm the British Transport Police officers at Victoria Train Station responded to a man armed with a knife and swiftly detained him. The officers acted with incredible bravery in tackling the armed attacker at the busy Metrolink station and ensured he was immediately detained. He remains in custody here in Manchester.

We are treating this as a terrorist investigation which is being led by counter terrorism officers with support from Greater Manchester Police. They were working throughout the night to piece together the details of what happened and to identify the man who was arrested.

North West Ambulance Service said the three victims were taken to the hospital in a "very serious condition," according to the Guardian.

Greater Manchester Police said early Tuesday that the victims' injuries were "serious" but not life-threatening. Police said they expected them to remain hospitalized "for some time."

The officer has since been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home.

The family of the suspect released a statement on Wednesday that said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were seriously injured, their families and friends.

"We are also eternally grateful for the swift response from the emergency services and the comfort given to those affected by fellow Mancunians and citizens."

The statement called on the media to "avoid any assumptions, speculations and generalisations."

Incredibly proud of the four BTP officers who detained a man wielding a knife at Manchester Victoria last night. Very sadly, one of them was stabbed to the shoulder, he is now recovering at home. A big thanks for all your supportive messages πŸ’™ https://t.co/v2Gx0gZ75V

Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to the emergency services for their response.

My thoughts are with those who were injured in the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester last night. I thank the emergency services for their courageous response.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said in a statement that authorities do not believe "there is any wider threat at this time," adding that counterterrorism officers were investigating the incident.

"This is to ensure ... we have all the expertise available to us and progress our investigation as soon as we possibly can," Potts said.

Metrolink service through the station was suspended, but the station reopened on Tuesday.

The incident did not appear to disrupt the city's New Year's celebrations. The Manchester City Council said on Twitter that the fireworks show in Albert Square would go on and that there would be increased security.

The fireworks in Albert Square are going ahead despite the incident at Victoria station. There will be increased security. Have a safe and happy New Year.

The firework display at Manchester town hall. A busy night in the city with thousands in Albert Square.

Sam Clack, a producer for the BBC, said he witnessed the stabbing and called it "the most terrifying thing."

"Man stabbed in Manchester Victoria station on tram platform. Feet from me, I was close to jumping on the tracks as attacker had long kitchen knife," Clack tweeted. "Totally shaken. This is seriously messed up."

Just been very close to the most terrifying thing. Man stabbed in Manchester Victoria station on tram platform. Feet from me, I was close to jumping on the tracks as attacker had long kitchen knife. Totally shaken. This is seriously messed up.


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