CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Mayor John Tecklenburg stood before churches and cameras in the Holy City Thursday afternoon and shared one person was dead as a result of a shooting and hostage situation at a popular downtown restaurant.
The mayor said one hostage was also injured, and the suspect, a disgruntled employee of Virginia's on King, was shot.
"We do ask our community’s prayers for one family today, because one person has been killed today," Mayor Tecklenburg said.
King Street between Calhoun and Morris streets was blocked to vehicle and pedestrian traffic as multiple law enforcement agencies worked the scene.
There is much speculation a chef was shot. We have not yet confirmed that information with police, but we anticipate an update.
"This was a tragic case of a disgruntled individual," they mayor said of the suspect.
A witness on a rooftop patio said he watched police block the street, hide out and duck down behind cars.
"I got a little bit nervous. I didn't know what was going on," he said.
"Chaotic" is a common word by those we came across at the scene. We spoke to some who said they were in the business at the time and forced to crawl out on their stomachs. One woman said she had a gun pointed at her belly by the suspect.
"This is not the way society is supposed to be," another witness in the area said.
Police described the situation as dangerous. Officers were initially dispatched at 12:17 p.m.
Classes at Charleston School of Law were temporarily put on hold and law enforcement helicopters circled the area. Marion Square was emptied. Police pushed the perimeter back farther and farther until around 3 p.m. when the situation seemed to be resolved.