CHARLESTON, S.C. — -A fired dishwasher shot and killed a chef and held a person hostage for about three hours before he was shot by police at a crowded restaurant in a tourist-heavy area of downtown Charleston on Thursday, authorities and one of the restaurant’s owners said.
Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Anthony Shane Whiddon, 37, of Goose Creek, S.C. Whiddon was the executive chef at Virginia’s on King Restaurant.
The gunman is in critical condition, Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg said Thursday. “Several” hostages who were being held inside the restaurant, Virginia’s, are now safe, he said.
Officers who responded around 12:17 p.m. found one person suffering from a gunshot wound, and extricated the person from the building. That person, an employee, later died, Tecklenburg said.
“This is not an act of terrorism. This is not a hate crime. It is a disgruntled employee,” Tecklenburg said.
Witnesses told CBS affiliate WCSC they were eating at the restaurant when the gunman ordered everyone out and yelled, “There’s a new boss in town.”
The man looked like “an ordinary grandpa, but he had a crazy look,” Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston. They were able to escape out a back door.