Officers dashed to Enfield Street in Pemberton shortly before 8.50am this morning, scouring the area for the suspect who was spotted by terrified members of the public.
He was seen hitting bollards on the roadside. Police moved their search to Howard Street and a man was arrested on suspicion of affray.
Officers were seen storming a property via the fire escape.
A police spokesman said: “We were called just before 8.50am to reports of a man with an an axe near Lidl supermarket on the junction of Enfield Street.
“He was seen hitting objects but there are no reports of anyone being injured although a number of people who called us were quite distressed.”
Nearby Highfield St Matthews primary school sent a text to parents saying the school was put on ‘lockdown’ as a safety measure, adding “police have now resolved the situation”.