BREAKING NEWS: Disgruntled employee at a South Carolina restaurant shoots one person and takes hostages after declaring ‘I am the new king of Charleston’

Thursday, August 24, 2017
By Paul Martin

24 August 2017

Police in South Carolina say one person is has been shot and several others have been taken hostage after a disgruntled employee opened fired inside a restaurant in downtown Charleston this afternoon.

Law enforcement officials are blocking King Street between Calhoun and Morris streets to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, according to a tweet sent out by police shortly after noon local time.

According to witnesses, it is believed the incident began unfolding at Virginia’s On King, a Southern food restaurant in the 400 block of King Street.

A family were having lunch at the eatery when they tell the Charleston Post and Courier a middle-aged man emerged from the kitchen brandishing a loaded revolver and announced, ‘There’s a new boss in town.’

The gunman’s sudden appearance sent patrons fleeing for their lives out of the eatery. There were about 30 people having lunch at Virginia’s during the incident.

A tourist from Maryland and his son recounted a similar story, saying a black man in an apron walked through the door holding a small-caliber revolver, locked the door and said, ‘I am the new king of Charleston.’

Some described the person in question as a black man in his late 50s. One diner, Patsy Plant, told the paper the armed man looked like a ‘grandpa’ but had ‘a crazy look.’

During a press conference held this afternoon, Charles Franics, a spokesman for the Charleston Police Department, said officers who responded to the scene at 12.17pm located one shooting victim and had that person transported to a hospital.

Francis also said there are ‘a couple of hostages’ in the building.

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