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Birmingham vigil for Manchester attack victims interrupted by man with axe

  • Published at 11:13 am May 24th, 2017
Birmingham vigil for Manchester attack victims interrupted by man with axe
A man has been detained for carrying an axe while interrupting Birmingham’s vigil dedicated in the memory of the 22 killed during the Manchester bomb attack in Ariana Grande’s concert on May 22. West Midlands Police (WMP) confirmed a 39-year-old man was handcuffed and led away by officers Monday night, reports the Independent. Speakers among 1,000 people who gathered in the city's main Victoria Square for a candle-lit service were interrupted by the man's loud protests while paying tribute to the Manchester attack victims. As the man was taken away by the police in a riot van, a police sergeant was seen carrying away a bat and an axe. In a statement, WMP said: "A man has been arrested following a disturbance near a vigil in Birmingham city centre this evening. "The 39-year-old Birmingham man – who is known to the police and is thought to have a history of mental ill-health -- was  arrested on suspicion of possession of a weapon. Superintendent Andy Parsons, responsible for policing in the west of Birmingham, said: "Officers spotted the man acting suspiciously and spoke to him. At this point they arrested him. "The man was carrying a bag, and as a precaution, Victoria Square where the vigil was being held was cleared for around 15 minutes. "A small axe was recovered along with a large stick. Andy said after psychiatrists determine the man’s mental condition, the police will be interviewing the him to understand his motives. "I'd like to thank the people for the calm and collected way in which they responded to the incident. The professionalism of our officers who responded to the incident is also commendable and indicative of British policing," Andy added. Police, including armed response officers cleared the square a short time after the incident.