Charleston, SC (WLTX, AP) - The Mayor of Charleston says a person who was shot inside a Charleston restaurant has died, and the disgruntled former employee accused of shooting him has been shot, ending an hours long hostage situation.
Mayor John Tecklenburg made the update around 3:20 p.m.
Police say around 12:17 p.m., the suspect , a former employee of Virginia's restaurant on King Street, came back to the business and shot a former co-worker. that victim was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
The shooter then began holding several people hostage. Hostage negotiators responded to the and SWAT units set up tactical positions around the building.
Eventually, the suspect was shot. He was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.
"This is not a an act of terrorism, this was not a hate crime," said Tecklenburg "This was a disgruntled employee."
The owner of Virginia's says he's been told the suspect was a dishwasher who was angry with and shot a male chef. John Aquino told WCSC-TV that he thinks the gunman was fired and came back Thursday to get revenge.
Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston they were eating in the restaurant and saw the suspect come out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand and said "there's a new boss in town."
Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis says officers were able to get the victim out of the restaurant.
Witnesses say the man let diners, waitresses and some kitchen staff out of the restaurant, but held some of the other employees.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster released a statement on Twitter, sending thoughts to the victim's family and praising law enforcement.
On behalf of a grateful South Carolina, thank you. 3/3— Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) August 24, 2017
"We send our prayers to lift up the families affected by today's tragedy in Charleston," McMaster wrote. "As they always do, our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line today and likely prevented further loss of life."
An area between Calhoun and Morris Streets was blocked to drivers and pedestrian traffic while police dealt with the situation.
Virginia's is in an area full of shops and restaurants in the city's tourist district.
Some tweets showed shattered glass at the restaurant
This is a breaking news update. More information will be provided as it becomes available.