Charleston: Disgruntled employee shoots one, holds hostages in restaurant
A disgruntled employee shot one person on Thursday at a restaurant in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the police said.
The gunman was holding "a couple of hostages."One shooting victim was found at the scene and transported to an area hospital, Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis told reporters at a news conference.
Hostage negotiators were trying to talk to the man inside Virginia's, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference outside the restaurant, located on usually crowded King Street, a line of shops and nice dining that caters to both tourists and residents in South Carolina's largest and most historic city.
"This is not an act of terrorism. This is not a hate crime. It is a disgruntled employee," Tecklenburg said.
Police spokesman Charles Francis said at a news conference that the employee was holding a "couple" of hostages.
He did not respond to follow-up telephone calls seeking a more specific number and he did not give any details on the condition of the shooting victim.
The shooting was reported just after noon on King Street, Police spokesman Charles Francis said in a statement. He did not say whether they were any injuries or give any description of a suspect.
Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston they were eating at Virginia's restaurant and saw a man come out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand who said, "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. Authorities instructed people inside to stay inside and those outside to leave the area.
Swat teams and a bomb disposal unit were dispatched to the area. People had been advised to stay indoors and those outside to leave the area. Incidentally the site is a few blocks away from the Emanuel AME Church where nine black members of the Church were killed by a white man in June 2015.