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Hostage situation in South Carolina ends after ‘disgruntled employee’ shot by police

Erik G

Updated 9.23pm

A FIRED DISHWASHER shot and killed a chef and held a “small number” of people hostage for about three hours before he was shot by police at a crowded restaurant in a tourist-heavy area of downtown Charleston, South Carolina today.

The hostages were freed with no injuries, Mayor John Tecklenburg said. The shooting took place at Virginia’s restaurant on the usually crowded King Street, a line of shops and dining sites that caters to both tourists and residents in South Carolina’s largest and 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.

“This was a tragic case of a disturbed individual, I think, with a history of some mental health challenges,” Tecklenburg said at a news conference.

Authorities did not release the names of the gunman or the employee he killed, and would not specify the number of hostages who had been held.

The shooting was reported shortly after noon (5pm Irish time) today.

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.

“The man 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 short distance 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.

Read: ‘Go straight to hell’: Victims’ families confront mass murderer Dylann Roof

Read: White supremacist Dylann Roof sentenced to death for killing nine black churchgoers

Source: http://prntscr.com/fub00u


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