A man has been stabbed in a former pit village and a police manhunt is under way, locals said.
The incident happened in Kelloe, County Durham, around 2pm on Wednesday when police were called to Front Street.
Durham Police would not release many details, except to say there had been a "serious assault" and that a man was in hospital.
Locals expressed their concerns about the incident, which is thought to have happened close to a hairdressers and the Kelloe Working Men's Club in broad daylight.
According to local people, the victim was stabbed in the chest.
Forensic officers were working at the scene of the attack, the police helicopter had been flying over the scene and officers appeared to be interested in a car which they were thought to be considering taking away.
One witness, who did not want to be named, said: "About 1.45pm I saw lots of police cars and an ambulance heading to the village.
"I saw lots of police officers getting changed into their armed response gear.
"Apparently there was a young man in his 30s stabbed.
"They had the police helicopter up and they're still looking for the guy who did it."
The local said there had been police activity in neighbouring villages as officers tried to find the attacker.
"There are lots of rumours going around about what happened," he said.