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One dead, shooter injured after Charleston, South Carolina hostage situation


Updated August 24, 2017 10:01 PM EDT

Reports indicate the disgruntled employee who took hostages at gunpoint at a restaurant in downtown Charleston, South Carolina was a dishwasher who had been fired.

The assailant killed one person, a chef at the restaurant. Authorities have not released the names of the shooter or the victim. They did, however, indicate that the attack was not linked to terrorism or a hate crime.

"This was a tragic case of a disturbed individual, I think, with a history of some mental health challenges," said Charleston Mayor JohnTecklenburg said at a news conference.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Updated August 24, 2017 04:31 PM EDT
A person is removed from the scene of an active shooter incident in Charleston, South Carolina

More video from the scene of the situation has been released.

Updated August 24, 2017 03:22 PM EDT

Charlottesville Mayor John Tecklenburg confirmed that the assailant in an active shooting incident in Charleston, South Carolina, was a disgruntled restaurant employee who was shot by police and transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

One person was killed as a result of the incident. One hostage was injured, but all of the hostages taken by the shooter is alive.

Updated August 24, 2017 03:15 PM EDT
Authorities remove a person from the scene of an active shooting in Charleston

Circa has received this video from the scene of the situation.

Updated August 24, 2017 02:05 PM EDT

Police in Charleston, South Carolina, on Thursday said one person had been shot and another rushed to an area hospital following an "active shooter" situation there, according to The Post & Courier.

Authorities added that hostages remained trapped with the shooter inside a restaurant called Virginia's On King in the heart of the city's downtown area.

Officers were able to quickly find the wounded person at Virginia's, according to The Post & Courier, but it is unclear how many hostages remain inside the restaurant.

Charlottesville Mayor John Tecklenburg said Thursday that the shooter is apparently "a disgruntled employee" who works at Virignia's.

"This was not an act of terrorism," he said. "This was not a hate crime. This was a disgruntled employee."

The Post & Courier reported that employees at Virginia's, which is a Southern cuisine restaurant, said they were on lockdown as authorities swarmed the area.

Several people told The Post & Courier that the situation seemingly began at Virginia's, and Charleston Police Department's bomb squad has since arrived at the scene.

Patsy and Tom Plant told the newspaper they were eating at lunch at Virginia's with their daughter Laura whole roughly 15 to 20 people were in the establishment.

The Plants said a man then came from the restaurant's kitchen wielding a loaded revolver in his left hand before announcing, "There's a new boss in town."

"[He looked like] an ordinary grandpa, but he had a crazy look," Patsy Plant said alongside her husband, with both describing the man as a a black man in his late 50s. "It was very crazy."

The Plants added they fled Virginia's behind another customer who left through the business's front door, ultimately leaving their belongings behind.

Peter Siegert, 7, and his son, Peter Siegert IV, 45, both of Maryland, said they were eating at Virginia's when two waitresses and three kitchen staff members walked through the restaurant and out the front door without speaking.

The Siegerts told the Post & Courier that an older black man wearing an apron and dressed like a kitchen staff member then walked through the front door carrying a small caliber revolver.

"I am the new king of Charleston," he allegedly said before locking the restaurant's door.

The Siegerts said there were about 30 people dining at Virginia's when the man told customers to get down and move to the back of the building.

The family encountered two side exit doors at the back of the eatery and began filtering out, they continued, with some people fleeing on all fours.

"We did not want to give him a good target," Peter Siegert IV said, adding he was seemingly the last person outside and did not know if others had been left behind.

Police in Charleston, South Carolina are responding to an active shooter situation, according to our affiliate WCIV.

Officials with Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch have confirmed an incident at 412 King Street in the city’s downtown area.

Charles Francis, a spokesman for the Charleston Police Department, told CNN Thursday afternoon that authorities are working on an “active shooter situation” there.

Police are asking people to avoid the area between Calhoun and Morris, which has been blocked off to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Some Twitter users on Thursday voiced alarm at the incident in Charleston, which had a population of 120,083 people in 2010 according to 2010 census demographics there.

Sarah Cobb, who owns the nearby MOSA Boutique, said police activity was focused around Virginia's On King, which is a restaurant in the heart of downtown Charleston.

"Right now the streets are full of SWAT and police and people heavily armed," she said. "They are blocking off the whole block."

Cobb described evacuations from area businesses and officers with guns pointed toward the restaurant.

Charleston Police dispatch said they received an initial call about a "hostage situation involving a weapon."

Doug Warner, a spokesman for the Charleston Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, confirmed "they [the police] said there was an active shooter at they think Virginia's."

"They've called employees and said, 'Don't come back if if you're out of the office," Warner added, noting he did not hear any shots fired and did not know if other employees did.

Spokesman Mike Robertson said that the College of Charleston's campus is not under lockdown, but that the campus community had been alerted to the situation.

Additional police officers are stationed outside the school's Warren Place residence hall, which is around the corner from Virginia's, to prevent students from entering the area.

The Post & Courier additionally reported that Charleston Law School is currently on lockdown, and there is a heavy police presence in the surrounding region.

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