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Disgruntled Employee Kills One in Charleston Hostage Situation, Is Critically Wounded by Police

Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference that the shooting Thursday at Virginia's in downtown Charleston was not an act of terrorism or racism.
Image: First responders and police surround an injured person in Charleston, South Carolina
First responders and police surround an injured person in Charleston, South Carolina, on Thursday@ewadethemermaid / via Twitter
/ Source: Associated Press

A disgruntled employee shot and killed one person and took a hostage Thursday in a Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant before an officer shot and critically wounded him, authorities said.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said Thursday that the showdown at Virginia's restaurant in downtown Charleston was simply the act of a man "who took his anger into his own hands."

"This was not an act of terrorism. This was not a hate crime," Tecklenburg told reporters. "This was a disgruntled employee."

The victim was identified by the coroner's office Thursday night as Anthony Shane Whiddon, 37, of Goose Creek. He was the executive chef at the restaurant, the coroner's office said. The gunman has not been identified.

The hostage was safe, Tecklenburg said.

Interim Police Chief Jerome Taylor said multiple agencies accompanied by a hostage negotiator arrived at the scene at about 12:20 p.m. He wouldn't immediately identify the agency of the officer who shot the gunman.

Witnesses said a man emerged from the kitchen, told diners there was a "new boss" in Charleston and ordered them to leave.

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 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.

A SWAT team gathers on Vanderhorst Street as it respond to a shooting and hostage situation Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina.Grace Beahm Alford / The Post And Courier via AP

The site of Thursday's shooting is only a few blocks from Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where nine black members were killed by a white supremacist during a June 2015 Bible study session. Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in the case.