SHOPPERS have described the moment the Didcot knifeman pulled out two blades at Sainsbury's before causing chaos in the town.

One man, who didn't want to be named, was queueing at tills at just after 1pm on Wednesday when he saw another man, wearing a purple bandana covering the bottom half of his face, approach the exit carrying a bottle of alcohol which still had its security tag. 

LIVE UPDATES HERE as knifeman seen in Didcot

He told the Oxford Mail: "He started walking towards the door, and the security guard got up and told him he had to pay [for the bottle]. 

"The guy started to shout and tell him [the guard] to 'get out of his way', and then he started to count down from three. 

"As he got to one, he put the bottle down on the floor quite hard and he pulled out a very large kitchen knife."

The witness said the security guard then 'backed off' slightly and other shoppers began to move away. 

"Then he pulled out a second knife and started wildly slashing it around, but not at anybody, just in an intimidating way."

READ MORE: 'Lockdown' at schools, care home and civic centre after reports of man with a knife 

He said the man then caused damage to security sensors by the doors, before leaving the shop. 

But as staff and shoppers started to discuss what had happened, he turned and ran back towards the store, leading everyone near the doors to run to the back of the shop. 

Staff advised shoppers to stay at the back of the store for about 15 minutes after the man left a second time. 

"At first it was just a lot of shouting, but then we obviously saw the knife and started to think, 'this is getting dangerous'" the man added. 

"The security guard was really brave through the whole situation."

Another witness, Sam Redford, said: "Me and my sister were just about to go into Sainsbury's when we heard a lot of shouting so we waited - we thought it was a shoplifter kicking off.

"Next minute the guy came running out shouting 'I'll take you all. Come at me bro.'

"A friend I was talking to walked away as she had her baby with her.

"Then I saw the knives, grabbed my sister's arm and ran to PC World where we watched him walked towards all the staff at Sainsbury's they all ran back inside."

Oxford Mail:

Sainsbury's at the Orchard Centre (Pic: Google Maps)

She described the ordeal as the 'scariest thing I've seen.'

Her children were among those whose school was put on lockdown, and she said they were on 'high alert' and did well to control the situation. 

Another Sainsbury's shopper who witnessed the incident today, who asked not to be named, recalled how the knifeman came 'charging at us' after momentarily leaving the store. 

He also commended the supermarket security guard for his bravery, saying he deserves 'a pay rise.'

The shopper said: "The guy [knifeman] tried to walk out with a bottle of vodka but was stopped by the security guard.

"He pulled out two kitchen knives but the security guard bravely stood his ground.

"The guy with the knives got really worked up and eventually got out after swinging his knives.

"He then came back 30 seconds later charging at us and waving the knives around before leaving."

After eventually leaving Sainsbury's, the knifeman went to the Smallbone Recreation Ground area where he was cornered by police.

Officers remained at the scene at 9pm tonight.