A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a stabbing in Barnstaple.

The scene at Tesco Extra on Friday evening. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe scene at Tesco Extra on Friday evening. Picture: Sarah Howells

Armed police arrested the 49-year-old in Barnstaple just before 3am this morning (Saturday) following an extensive search, and is in custody awaiting questioning.

Police were called to the area at 6.20pm on Friday evening with reports of a man having been stabbed multiple times near the Tesco Extra store in Station Road.

The victim, a man in his 30s, was confirmed dead at North Devon District Hospital. Police have not yet confirmed the identity of the man.

Police launched a manhunt and a public appeal to help them locate the suspect, with the information supplied by members of the public having a ‘direct impact’ in finding him.

A major incident is ongoing in Barnstaple after reports of a stabbing in the Tesco Extra car park. Picture: Sarah HowellsA major incident is ongoing in Barnstaple after reports of a stabbing in the Tesco Extra car park. Picture: Sarah Howells

Detective Superintendent Mike West, said: “We would like to thank the public for their assistance. The information they shared with us had a direct impact in helping officers locate and arrest a suspect in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“This investigation is at an early stage and we ask that witnesses who may have any information, or anyone who was in the area of the retail park before or during the time of the attack, to contact police on 101 quoting log number 908 of August 3.”

Meanwhile, the police have urged the community to remain calm despite an additional police presence which will be in place this weekend.

Superintendent Matt Lawler added: “I would like to reassure the community that this incident is in hand and not to be alarmed at the additional police presence that will be seen in the area this weekend.

“This is so we can continue to carry out our enquiries and to secure evidence.

“Businesses in the area remain open, however there may be a small amount of disruption in the area while some cordons remain in place.

“This is a shocking incident because it is such a rare occurrence in our community.”