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UPDATE I: Abingdon murder investigation launched after Poundland stabbing

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man was stabbed to death in Abingdon’s Poundland this morning.

The town centre around Bury Street remains cordoned off and forensic officers are examining the scene.

An air ambulance helicopter left Abingdon at about 1.45pm and about 20 police officers and six cars remain at the scene.

Molly Mason, 17, who was working at Coffee Aroma in High Street, said: “I saw someone run past me shouting and yelling. He had two knives in his hands.

“He was saying ‘Everybody made me do it’. I went in the bank and when I came back out police cars were coming past, there were a lot of people chasing after him trying to stop him.

“He was shouting at me, he was swearing, shouting things that I do not wish to repeat.”

A 36-year-old man from the Abingdon area has been arrested and is in police custody.

Police were called to the stabbing at about 11.22am.

A second man suffered a minor injury to his thumb nearby, and officers are investigating whether the incidents are connected.

Caroline Choularton, manager of Outdoor Traders in High Street, said: “I saw a guy coming through the precinct, brandishing a knife. I saw him come round yelling and screaming on the High Street.
“The police had already been called by the time I went to call them.
“They were telling him to let go of the knife. He threw down the knife and the police were shouting at him telling him to get down on his knees.
“They turned up on his back and sat on him.”

Rachel Steptoe was working in Superdrug when a customer came in saying someone had been stabbed.

She said: “There was a man shouting at another man sitting on a bench.
“He was just saying? talk to me’ and he had a knife waving in his face.
“We just watched him and I think he started walking through the precinct.
“We got people to come in our shop for safety. We locked up the store after letting people in.”

A witness, who asked not to be named, said: “[The offender] was able to get through Poundland and all the way up High Street before he was grabbed. It’s a total disgrace, we are a small and quiet market town.”

Another said: “He was all dressed in black but he didn’t look like a terrorist, just a lunatic.”

Police confirmed at this stage the incident is not being treated as terrorism.

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