Cordons around the scene of a fatal stabbing in broad daylight in Barnstaple are hoped to be lifted this afternoon (Saturday).

A 49-year-old man was arrested by armed police in Barnstaple at 3am this morning (Saturday) on suspicion of murder, and remains in police custody.

Police believe they have identified the victim, a local man in his 30s, and are endeavouring to reach his next of kin.

Devon Commander Superintendent Matt Lawler, said the man’s identity would not be released until next of kin were informed.

Matt Lawler, Devon commander superintendent at the scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah HowellsMatt Lawler, Devon commander superintendent at the scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells

He said the force is now appealing for any witnesses to the events outside Tesco Extra to come forward and help investigations.

“It is shocking because it’s so rare and such a lovely area we live in; and we’re all shocked by the events,” said Superintendent Lawler.

He made reassurances the incident had been contained and there was no risk to the public.

The scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells

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.

Superintendent Lawler said: “We are appealing to anybody who was in the car park or the area, who may have seen a man of the description we released yesterday.

“Or anyone who witnessed an altercation here between 5.30-6pm.

The scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells

“We’re very greatful for the patience and support from the public and businesses in the area.

“There has been some minor disruption but we hope to release the cordons later on today.”

Tesco’s store and fuel station remains open, but the cordon is still surrounding part of the car park is hoped to be lifted today.

The scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells

It is understood Tesco staff have supported police officers managing the cordon with food and water.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk.

The scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells

The scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe scene of the stabbing in Barnstaple. Picture: Sarah Howells