Suspect Charged with Killing Chef at Charleston Restaurant Identified

Suspect in Charleston restaurant shooting in critical condition

Charleston, SC (WLTX) - Charleston police have identified the disgruntled former employee suspected of killing a chef at a downtown Charleston restaurant Thursday.

Officers say the suspect's name is 53-year-old Thomas Burns. 

Authorities say Burns, a fired dishwasher at Virginia's restaurant on King Street, shot and killed the executive chef at the business and then held a person hostage for about three hours before he was shot and wounded by police.

Burns remains in critical condition.

Deputy Charleston County Coroner Sheila Williams late Thursday identified the slain man as 37-year-old Anthony Shane Whiddon.

Mayor John Tecklenburg says the hostage was freed uninjured. The Thursday shooting took place on King Street, a line of shops and fine dining outlets catering to tourists and locals alike in South Carolina's most historic city.

Tecklenburg quickly said the shooting was "the act of a disgruntled employee" and not a terrorist attack or a hate crime in a city where nine black church members were killed by a white man two years ago.

A neighbor of Widdon says he was "just a gem" who found time to help others even as he worked long hours and raised a family.

Terri Thomas Wall wept in an interview Friday as she remembered 37-year-old Shane Whiddon. Authorities say the executive chef of Virginia's restaurant was shot dead Thursday by a dishwasher who had been fired. Police shot the suspect, critically wounding him.

Wall said Whiddon "would leave early in the morning and not come home until late at night" for his job. She said he loved to fish and play outside with his young sons on days off. Wall said Whiddon had always been quick to offer neighborly help starting a lawnmower or fixing a stubborn water spigot.

© 2017 Associated Press


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