Police were initially called to reports of a man jumping from the second storey window of an apartment in the Ancoats area of the city on Tuesday morning.
Witnesses reported seeing a man land on a Hyundai i30, leaving its roof partially caved in and its windscreen smashed, before attacking a family after they got out of the car, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“He was hitting my mum in the face, my dad was trying to get him off. We are all in shock,” Ben, a web developer who was in the car with his parents, told the newspaper.
The man reportedly fled down Cross Keys Street before smashing the rear window of a BMW and attempting to drag a woman from inside the car.
The brother of a 34-year-old worker at Salford Royal Hospital told the Evening News his sister had been left “traumatised” after allegedly being attacked by the man.
“He tried to drag her from the car, she was screaming and trying to stop him. He was smearing blood everywhere,” he said.
Officers found a body at Shush Apartments, on Swan Street. They subsequently arrested a 37-year-old suspect. He remains in custody for questioning.
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Greater Manchester Police superintendent Chris Hill, said: “We are currently working to establish the exact circumstances surrounding what has happened this morning and the woman’s death.
“Her death is currently being treated as suspicious and we have a team of officers working at the scene.
“We are in the very early stages of our investigation however I would urge anyone with any information to please get in touch.”
One witness described the scene on social media. “Blood on the windows and a car with caved in roof. Something bad’s happened here,” Jonathan Ward wrote on Twitter.
Police advised people to avoid the area and said several road closures were in place.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 327 of 13/02/18, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.