One person has been shot and killed after a "disgruntled employee" armed with a gun stormed a restaurant in downtown Charleston. According to the city's mayor, the gunman has been shot and is in critical condition.
One person has died after a gunman on Thursday held up a restaurant and took several people hostage in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg confirmed that the shooting victim had died and that the shooter, a "disgruntled employee" at the restaurant, had been shot and remains in critical condition. All the remaining hostages were rescued safely.
"This was not an act of terrorism," Mayor John Tecklenburg said. "This was not a hate crime. This was a disgruntled employee."
Once the situation had ended, Tecklenburg told reporters that the incident had been a "tragic case of a disgruntled individual with a history of some mental health challenges who took his anger into his
While police had yet to provide information on the identity of the gunman or victim, an owner of the restaurant said he believed the shooter was a former dishwasher and that the victim was a male chef.
John Aquino told broadcaster WCSC-TV that he thought the gunman had recently been fired and had come back to take revenge.
A witness told the city's Post and Courier newspaper that the gunman had waved their firearm inside Virginia's restaurant on King Street, shouting "There's a new boss in town." He then reportedly ordered guests, waitresses and some kitchen staff to leave the dining area before taking the rest of the staff hostage.
A spokesman for Charleston police said that authorities were able to get the injured man out of the restaurant and get him to hospital before he passed away.
Police officers had sent a SWAT team, medics, hostage negotiators and a bomb squad all to the scene, and urged residents to avoid the area. An editor at the Post and Courier newspaper posted pictures on Twitter of authorities cordoning off the restaurant.
Shootings have become a near daily occurrence in the United States. So far in 2017, the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive said the United States has had 239 mass shootings, which it defines as an incident in which at least four people were shot at or killed. August 24 is the 236th day of 2017.
The site is just blocks away from the Emanuel AME church, where a racist white gunman killed nine black members of the church in June 2015. The shooter, Dylann Roof, was sentenced to death for the crime.
dm/sms (AP, dpa)