A gunman opened fire in a targeted attack as crowds celebrated in the sun at Huddersfield Carnival.

It is understood three men in a grey car drove along Great Northern Street before shots were fired.

The bullets missed the revellers who had earlier enjoyed a parade and fun event in the sunshine.

Cars were damaged by the shots and witnesses said somebody could have been killed in the horror.

Others spoke about grabbing their children and throwing them to the ground as mayhem broke out.

Armed officers were immediately dispatched and the grey car was later traced with three men being arrested.

A gun was also recovered.

Police put up a huge cordon around the area near Great Northern Retail Park. There was also an area cordoned off in Lower Fitzwilliam Street.

The police helicopter was out with a huge number of police and other emergency crews on the street.

One woman, 76, who lives near the scene, said: "One of those bullets could have ricocheted off the wall and killed somebody. I can’t understand why it’s been allowed on this street. It should be in a park."

Another witness said they heard five gunshots while another said: "There were two stampedes. I don’t know if it was firecrackers or gunshots. People were running. There were reports that a machete has been found."

One woman added: "All of a sudden I heard gunshots and everyone started running. I grabbed my four year old son. I heard another gunshot. People were screaming."

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A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “At 5.42pm today police received a report of gunshots in Great Northern Street, Huddersfield.

“Armed officers were deployed and found damage to two vehicles, which suggested a firearm had been discharged.

“Enquiries at the scene suggested a grey saloon car may have been involved in the incident.

“A vehicle matching this description was located a short distance away and further enquiries led to three males being arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.

“These males remain in custody at this time.

“A firearm has also been recovered.

“No one is believed to have received injuries as a result of the discharge, which is being treated as a targeted attack.

“Reassurance patrols are being carried out in the area while enquiries continue into this incident.

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“Anyone who may have information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log 1512 of 14 July, or use the live chat facility on the West Yorkshire Police website.

“Information can also be reported anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”