Market trader faces down woman with knife after man stabbed in Barnsley
South Yorkshire Police said a 28-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
A market trader has been hailed a hero after he faced down a woman brandishing a foot-long knife who stabbed a man in a town centre as terrified shoppers scattered.
Abdul Razzaq, 43, confronted the woman after she produced a huge kitchen knife in Barnsley town centre and shouted “kill, kill, kill, kill” as she stabbed one man in the shoulder and then walked around the busy streets.
Mr 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.
He said he then convinced her to put down the knife before police officers grabbed her and made the arrest.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed they arrested a 28-year-old woman on suspicion of attempted murder and said she is being assessed from a mental health perspective.
Mr 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.
Mr Razzaq described 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.
He said she was just shouting “kill” over and over as she went to stab one man.
He added: “I ran for this lady and she was saying ‘kill, kill, kill, kill’. Everybody was scared. Everybody ran.
“I followed this lady. I said ‘don’t touch anybody’. I said ‘kill me but don’t touch my people. Keep that attack for me’.”
Mr Razzaq said: “I said ‘you’re a terrorist’. And she said ‘I’m no terrorist’. I said ‘you’re a terrorist because you do this’.
“I said ‘why do you attack the people?’. And she just said “kill people, kill people’.”
Mr Razzaq described how he followed the woman around the town centre as dozens of shoppers moved out of her way.
He said she was walking and kept shouting “kill, kill, kill, kill”.
After he returned to his stall, he told police she had gone to the bus station and he went with them to where they cornered her at the nearby railway station.
He said: “I said ‘that’s the lady’. She still had the knife and said ‘kill, kill, kill’.
“The police said ‘leave this knife’. Police were a little bit scared. I’m not scared. I’ll go near to this lady. I said ‘nobody’s going to touch you, leave this knife’.”
He said she said “kill, kill, kill” again but she threw the knife on the floor and police jumped on her.
Mr Razzaq said: “People were scared. They were really scared.”
UPDATE: Please see below for update on #Barnsley town centre incident. One person is in police custody. If you see anything suspicious or hold information about this morning's incident, please call 101 quoting incident number 246 8/9/18 pic.twitter.com/dAlXzlaX9y— SouthYorkshirePolice (@syptweet) September 8, 2018
South Yorkshire Police said: “An investigation is now under way and in its early stages to establish whether this is an isolated incident and whether the individual acted alone.”
It is believed only one person was hurt in the incident and his injuries are not serious.
Police said they were keeping an open mind as to the motive and were “receiving support” from detectives at Counter Terrorism Policing North East.
Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forber added: “It is not appropriate to speculate further.”
A number of bins and others areas in Peel Square were cordoned off and white-suited forensics officers were examining the scenes.
People working in shops in Barnsley Interchange station said they saw officers rushing around the area at around 8am.
Hannah Fuller, 24, a member of staff at the Subway sandwich shop, said officers rushed towards the railway platform and businesses had been forced to close for an hour.
She told the Press Association: “We had to close for an hour – Peel Street was closed. The police haven’t told us anything.”
Other market traders described how the drama unfolded as they were setting up their stalls.
Flower stall owner Craig Ward, 42, said he saw the woman stop and pull out the massive knife.
He said: “She was walking past and threw her bag on the floor, then pulled the knife out and started chasing a bloke up Market Hill – she was screaming ‘kill, kill, kill’.
“Then she came back down the hill for her bag – I heard she started going after a window cleaner after that. She was a massive woman – 6ft tall.
“It was very frightening to see a woman running around with a knife stabbing random people.”
Other witnesses said the woman was probably in her thirties and was wearing a veil but no face-covering.
Paul Cooke said: “She went directly for him as he ran off towards the Town Hall but she couldn’t catch him so she came back for her bag.
“Then she ran off in the other direction and then I saw her running back towards us chasing someone else. I was on the phone to police by this point describing what I was seeing – it was scary.”