Two cars chased each other through Manchester city centre before multiple gunshots were fired last night, eyewitnesses have said.

A large police cordon remained in place in St Peter's Square on Sunday morning after the shocking incident unfolded at around 8.30pm on Saturday evening.

A silver Vauxhall continues to be examined by forensics officers at the spot where it was abandoned between the Metrolink stop and Wagamama restaurant.

Crime scene markers were laid out across the road and a Metrolink tram also remains empty behind the cordon.

Detectives say there called to reports of a firearms discharge and a road traffic collision and emergency services found an abandoned vehicle on the tram track in St Peter's Square. No one is believed to have been injured.

Two 16-year-old boys and a 19-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and possession of a firearm.

They all remain in custody.

Officers search for evidence after the shooting in St Peter's Square

A witness, who asked not to be named, told the M.E.N the incident began with two cars involved in a pursuit down Fountain Street before the silver Vauxhall crashed into a lamppost.

"There was a chase between two cars down Fountain Street, the chaser was shooting at the first car," the witness said.

"They turned onto Princess Street and the first car crashed into a lamppost at the tram station.

"The pursuing car fired a couple more shots then sped off. The lads in the chased car jumped out and dived onto a tram to escape.

"Police arrived and stopped the tram the lads were on and took them away. I watched pretty much the whole thing."

Two boys aged 16 and a 19-year-old man have been arrested

Currently, it remains unclear how many shots were fired but several witnesses spoken to by the M.E.N. thought it was around three and four.

"I heard three or four pops and then cars screeching," one resident said.

Another witness who was standing in St Peter's Square at the time said: "I heard two loud bangs and I wasn't too sure what was going on at first.

"A couple of moments later I don't think I've seen so many police vehicles come at once.

"They stopped quickly and asked us if we had seen a van.

"I don't think the bangs came from a van though, it came from the two vehicles.

Witnesses said two cars had been chasing each other before the shots were fired

"The police cornered the area off as quickly as they could and stopped the trams.

"We saw the young lads disappear as quickly as they could, they were running away in different directions.

"I think the police thought the lads had jumped on the trams.

"The police were speaking to the homeless to find out what they saw.

"They told them the two cars were speeding and trying to fight along side each other as they came down the street.

"I saw the lads running away they were only 15 or 16.

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"Guns at that age - it's disgusting."

Greater Manchester Police appealed for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Superintendent Helen Critchley, from GMP's City of Manchester division, said: "We understand that this incident has no doubt caused concerns in the city centre and those living by but I'd like to reassure them that a thorough investigation is underway.

"Officers are at the scene and a large cordon is in place whilst a number of enquiries are carried out to establish what happened during this incident.

"Three arrests have been made and our efforts to piece together what happened continue.

"Anyone who was nearby at the time or has any information is asked to get in touch. Any details may prove vital and those with information can call 101 quoting log number 2989 of 27/02/2021.

"Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."