CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The mayor says a hostage situation in a Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant has ended with the gunman being shot by police.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the restaurant employee shot by the gunman Thursday 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.
Taylor says the restaurant on tourist-heavy King Street was packed at lunchtime and his officers helped rescue the wounded man and a number of diners.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Previous Coverage can be seen below.
Authorities say a disgruntled employee, reportedly a dishwasher, shot one person and is holding hostages in a popular restaurant in Charleston.
Reports of an active shooter surfaced Thursday afternoon. According to Charleston's NBC affiliate, WCBD, EMS responded to initial 911 calls around 12:17 p.m.
Witnesses said a man emerged from the kitchen of the restaurant, Virginia's, and told diners that there was a new boss in town and then demanded them to leave.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference that the shooting was not an act of terrorism or rascism but confirmed it was a disgruntled employee who had shot one person.
Tecklenburg did not know the condition of the person shot, however, officers were able to get the victim out of the building and to medical assistance, WCBD reported.
According to WCBD, several hostages were being held in a closet. Some were able to escape and seek shelter in a nearby restaurant.
Charleston Police sent SWAT teams and a bomb disposal unit to the area and warned people to avoid the area, stay inside buildings, or leave. They also tweeted saying the area was blocked off between King Street between Calhoun and Morris to motorists and pedestrian traffic.
King btwn Calhoun & Morris blocked to motorist & pedestrian traffic active shooter in 400 block of King people to avoid the area.— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) August 24, 2017
The site of the incident is a few blocks away from Emanuel AME church, where nine black members of a church were killed by Dylann Roof during a June 2015 Bible study. Roof was sentenced to death in the case.
Stay tuned. NBC Charlotte is currently sending a news team to Charleston to provide you with the latest.