Gun scare at Manchester shopping centre done deliberately to cause panic

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Shoppers leave the Arndale Centre after reports of a gunman on the premises

Shoppers fled the Arndale Centre earlier today (Picture: Backgrid; MEN Media)

A gun scare at the Arndale Centre was a deliberate attempt to cause mass panic, police have said.

Earlier this afternoon members of the public were forced to flee after officers received reports that a gunman had entered the Manchester shopping centre.

Yet, when emergency services searched the premises around 1.20pm, they found no evidence that such incident had occurred.

The shopping centre has since reopened, with police reassuring those in the area that there is no cause for concern.

A statement released by GMP said it was thought the incident came after a disturbance involving a group of youths.

BGUK_1654314 - Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM - Armed Police swoop on Manchester???s Arndale Centre after Man Jumps on table in Food Hall and starts shouting something in Arabic - police rush to the good hall and evacuate centre. Pictured: GV Arndale Centre, Manchester BACKGRID UK 13 JULY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Rasmussen / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*

There was mass panic at the shopping centre (Picture: Backgrid)

BGUK_1654314 - Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM - Armed Police swoop on Manchester???s Arndale Centre after Man Jumps on table in Food Hall and starts shouting something in Arabic - police rush to the good hall and evacuate centre. Pictured: GV Arndale Centre, Manchester BACKGRID UK 13 JULY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Rasmussen / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*

The shopping centre has since reopened as normal (Picture: Backgrid)

Superintendent John-Paul Ruffle, who is responsible for specialist operations within GMP, said an investigation has now been launched to find the offender responsible.

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He tweeted: A rapid response to the Arndale by our armed officers. Highly professional & brave – they ensured everyone was safe.

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Whilst there was no weapon seen it is believed this was a deliberate attempt to cause mass panic. An investigation is underway to identify the person/s responsible.

A spokesperson for the Arndale Centre confirmed that the incident is now closed and the centre is open and trading as normal.

They added: The safety of our shoppers and staff is always our first priority.

The Arndale Centre in Manchester was 'evacuated' after a gun scare this afternoon. Armed police rushed to the food court in the city centre shopping centre after receiving reports that there was a man with a gun. Caption: Cops at scene

Officers found no evidence of a gunman (Picture: Debbie Towle/ MEN MEDIA)

An eyewitness told the MEN that he thought the incident related to the behaviour of a teenage boy, who stood on a table in the food court and began to take his clothes off.

The boy, believed to be 15 or 16, allegedly started shushing everyone, telling them to be quiet and saying they should listen to him.

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He then said can I have everyones attention please, the eyewitness said and began to undress until he was wearing just his trousers and shoes.

Arndale staff intervened and began talking to him, but shortly after the boy ran off, the eyewitness said.

Screaming and shouting could then be heard as the incident appearedRead More – Source

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