A police officer points a taser while the other holds a man down outside Arndale shopping center.
(From right) A police officer points a Taser while his colleague holds a man down outside Arndale shopping center.JOHN GREENHALGH via REUTERS

As many as five people were stabbed Friday morning inside a Starbucks in the northern English city of Manchester — and counter-terrorism police launched an investigation after a suspect was caught, according to reports.

“We are currently responding to an incident at the Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester City Centre,” a Greater Manchester police spokesman said, according to the Telegraph.

“A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of serious assault. He has been taken to custody for questioning,” he added.

There were no immediate reports of any fatalities. The five people who were stabbed were taken to a hospital after the attack.

Video footage and photographs showed heavily armed police around the Exchange Square side of the shopping complex, where officers using a Taser held a man to the ground.

A shop worker told the PA Media news agency: “A man was running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store shaken with a small graze.

“Soon after, security staff told all retail staff to close their doors and move the public to the back of the stores,” said the 23-year-old man, who gave only his first name, Jordan, the Guardian reported.

Freddie Houlder, 22, said he heard “a load of screams just outside” a store he was in.

He said a woman came into the shop and yelled that “a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me.”

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 into tears.”

In a statement, police said: “Given the location of the incident and its nature, officers from Counter Terrorism Police North West are leading the investigation as we determine the circumstances.”