Charleston's mayor confirmed on Thursday that one person died in a downtown Charleston, South Carolina restaurant shooting and hostage situation.
The mayor said the gunman was wounded and has been transported to the hospital in critical condition. Charleston Interim Police Chief Jerome Taylor said a Charleston Police officer wounded the gunman.
The people who were being held hostage have been rescued and are safe, Taylor said.
“This is not an act of terrorism. This is not a hate crime. It is a disgruntled employee,” Tecklenburg said. Police spokesman Charles Francis said at a news conference that the employee was holding a “couple” of hostages.
Peter Siegert, 73, and his son Peter Siegert IV, 45, were quoted by The Post and Courier of Charleston as saying that just after several waitresses and kitchen workers walked out the door without saying a word, a man in an apron with a gun came out of the kitchen and locked the front door.
He said, “’I am the new king of Charleston,’” the Siegerts said. The man told diners to get on the floor and move to the back of the restaurant. The Siegerts said they escaped out a back door and didn’t know how many people were left behind.
Charleston Police sent SWAT teams and a bomb disposal unit to the area. Authorities instructed people inside to stay inside and those outside to leave the area.
The site is a few blocks away from Emanuel AME church, where nine black members of a church were killed by a white man during a June 2015 Bible study. Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in the case.
With PTI inputs