A “heroic” market trader faced down a woman brandishing a “foot-long knife” who stabbed a man in a busy town centre as shoppers scattered in terror.
Abdul Razzaq, 43, confronted the woman after she produced a huge kitchen knife in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and shouted “kill, kill, kill, kill” as she stabbed one man in the shoulder and then walked around the busy shopping parades.
Razzaq followed the 6ft-tall woman, who was dressed in Muslim clothes but did not have her face covered, and alerted police to where she was in the town’s railway station.
South Yorkshire Police said a woman was arrested after the “serious incident” on Saturday morning and that a kitchen knife had been recovered. The force said a man suffered minor injuries.
Officers were initially called at 8.20am to reports that a man had been stabbed in the town centre.
There were then a number of other reports of a person roaming the area with a bladed weapon.
Razzaq said the woman told him: “I’m no terrorist.”
Another witness said the woman shouted: “In the name of Jesus.”
The trader, who has run his clothes stall on Peel Square for more than 15 years, was speaking as shoppers came to shake his hand and congratulate him on his bravery, with many hailing him a hero.
Razzaq described to the Press Association how the woman got a knife as long as his forearm out of its wrapping and discarded the packaging in a bin right in front of his stall.
“People were scared. They were really scared,” he said.
South Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “There are several scenes in place and a high-visibility police presence in Barnsley town centre, while initial enquiries take place to understand the circumstances surrounding this morning’s incident.
“An investigation is now underway and is in its early stages to establish if this was an isolated incident and whether this individual acted alone.
“The public are asked to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling 101.”
Yorkshire Ambulance Service referred HuffPost UK to the police.
Hannah Fuller, 24, a member of staff at the Subway sandwich shop at the Barnsley Interchange bus and train station, said police arrived there at about 8am.
She said that the officers rushed towards the railway platform and that businesses had been forced to close for an hour.
She said: “We had to close for an hour – Peel Street was closed. The police haven’t told us anything.”
A person who answered the phone at the nearby Alhambra Shopping Centre just after 10.30am said the mall was fully open.
And the owner of Bailey’s Cafe in the town centre later confirmed that its premises had been “given the all clear” after a “suspect was apprehended”.
“We are open and trading as usual as the town has been deemed safe and clear,” they wrote on the establishment’s Facebook page.