A man is critically wounded from a police officer’s shot after the former fatally shot someone and began a hostage situation in the Charleston restaurant where he works, NBC News reports. The employee reportedly emerged from the kitchen at the downtown restaurant Virginia’s around noon on Thursday, holding a gun. According to local paper The Post and Courier, two waitresses and three kitchen staffers hurriedly left through Virginia’s front door minutes before the man came out.
He reportedly announced to patrons, “There’s a new boss in town.” Witnesses speaking with The Post and Courier claim that he said, “I am the king of Charleston.”
Mayor John Tecklenburg assured reporters that the situation was “not an act of terrorism.” “This was not a hate crime,” he said. “This was a disgruntled employee…[a man] who took his anger into his own hands.” Tecklenburg also revealed that the man had "mental health challenges."
After entering the restaurant’s main dining area, the shooter ordered diners to leave. Customer Patsy Plant recalled that he looked like “an ordinary grandpa...But he had a crazy look.”
The gunman, who CNN says was a former dishwasher at Virginia’s, rushed patrons to the exit. It’s still unclear when gunfire eventually went off. When Charleston police arrived, the shooting victim, believed to be a chef, was found inside and taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. At least one hostage was kept inside and later released safely.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 24, 2017
Despite a SWAT team and police forces congregating outside and the rest of the street’s businesses staying on lockdown, the area was deemed safe by 3:30 p.m. Notably, the restaurant is only a few blocks away from the Methodist church where white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black people in 2015. When news of the restaurant shooting hit Twitter, interest in the shooter's race spiked, causing a bit of a stir online.
There's a shooter in Charleston and all anyone cares about is what race the shooter is ? Not that someone is dead and that he has hostages?
— Richard combs (@RichardBret) August 24, 2017
If the first thing you think of with Charleston is the color of someones skin, you're failing at being a human being. #RealFacts
— Ricky Wheeler (@Rwheeler9_) August 24, 2017
While this incident is definitely frightening, it’s good to know that the city of Charleston is mostly unaffected following the shooting.