A disgruntled employee who fatally shot one person and held another hostage on Thursday at a restaurant in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, was shot by police, the city’s mayor said.
Witnesses said the gunman brandished a pistol and said “There’s a new boss in town” as he entered Virginia’s On King in the heart of the city’s commercial district, while about 15 to 20 people were having lunch. Many of them fled.
The gunman was transported to a local hospital in critical condition and the hostage was rescued, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
“A disgruntled employee came back to his place of employment... with a gun and killed an individual in the restaurant, held another hostage for some time,” Tecklenburg told reporters at the scene.
“This was not a terrorist act. This was not a hate crime. This was a tragic case of a disgruntled individual, I think with a history of some mental health challenges, who took his anger into his own hands,” Reuters cited him as saying.
Executive Chef Anthony Shane Whiddon, 37, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, was shot and killed during the incident.
Local television station WCSC-TV quoted a representative of the group that owns the restaurant as saying that the gunman was a former dishwasher.