UPDATE – 3:44 P.M.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says the hostage situation in a Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant has ended with the gunman being shot by police. The gunman is in critical condition.
The restaurant employee shot by the gunman Thursday has died.
Interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor says all the hostages at Virginia’s restaurant were rescued safely. He didn’t say how many there were.
Authorities did not release the names of the gunman or the victim.
Taylor says the restaurant on tourist-heavy King Street was packed at lunchtime and his officers helped rescue the wounded man and a number of diners.
Our original story appears below:
A disgruntled employee shot one person and is holding hostages in a restaurant in an area of Charleston, South Carolina, that is popular with tourists, authorities say.
Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference that the shooting Thursday at Virginia’s restaurant in downtown Charleston was not an act of terrorism or racism.
Tecklenburg did not have the condition of the person shot, and said he didn’t know how many hostages remained inside the restaurant.
Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston that they were eating at Virginia’s restaurant and saw a man come out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand saying, “There’s a new boss in town.”
The man looked like “an ordinary grandpa, but he had a crazy look,” the couple said. They were able to escape out a back door.
Charleston Police sent SWAT teams and a bomb-disposal unit to the area and warned people nearby to stay inside buildings or leave.
Updated Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm