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One injured, many hostages taken in Charleston restaurant shooting

One injured, many hostages taken in Charleston restaurant shooting

An angry employee shot one person Thursday and was holding "a couple" of others hostage at a crowded restaurant during lunchtime in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, authorities said.

A hostage situation is reportedly unfolding in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters this is not act of terrorism, while the situation was going on. This is not a hate crime. "It is a disgruntled employee", Tecklenburg said.

Witnesses said the shooter brandished the pistol and shouted as he entered the Virginia's On King eatery, in the heart of the city's commercial district, while about 15 to 20 people were having lunch.

Police said earlier they were dealing with an "active shooter situation" in a restaurant, and the mayor said there were hostages being held, local media have reported.

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Virginia's owner, John Aquino, told WCSC-TV he thought the gunman was a dishwasher who was sacked and came back to Virginia's to get revenge by shooting a male chef because he was angry at him.

Heavily armed SWAT officers and a bomb squad also responded to the scene. "They are blocking off the whole block", said Sarah Cobb, owner of MOSA boutique.

SWAT team cops could be seen training their automatic rifles on Virginia's restaurant on King Street, one of the city's busiest thoroughfares. The Siegerts said they escaped out a back door and didn't know how many people were left behind.

The gunman has been described as looking like "an ordinary grandpa, but he had a insane look".


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