The Associated Press - CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- An angry employee shot and killed one person Thursday and was holding "a couple" of others hostage at a crowded restaurant during lunchtime in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, authorities said.C
Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg says a hostage situation in a Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant has ended with the gunman being shot by police. He also said the employee shot by the gunman has died.
Interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor says all the hostages at Virginia's restaurant were rescued safely. He didn't say how many there were.
Tecklenburg says the man who took the hostages is in critical condition.
Authorities did not release the names of the gunman or the man killed
Hostage negotiators were trying to talk to the man inside Virginia's, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference outside the restaurant, located on usually crowded King Street, a line of shops and nice dining that caters to both tourists and residents in South Carolina's largest and most historic city.
"This is not an act of terrorism. This is not a hate crime. It is a disgruntled employee," Tecklenburg said.
The shooting was reported shortly after noon Thursday.
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.
This story has been edited to clarify police instructions to people in the area.
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