One person was killed and a gunman was injured after he stormed into a restaurant in an area of Charleston, South Carolina, that is popular with tourists, taking hostages to "get revenge."
Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference that the shooting Thursday at Virginia's in downtown Charleston was not an act of terrorism or racism.
Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis told reporters the shooter was holding "a couple" of hostages. He did not immediately respond to follow-up telephone calls asking whether there were more than two.
An owner of the restaurant said he's been told the man is a dishwasher who was angry with and shot a male chef.
John Aquino told WCSC-TV that he thinks the gunman was fired and came back to Virginia's in downtown Charleston on Thursday to get revenge.
Witnesses said the man let diners, waitresses and some kitchen staff out of the restaurant.
Tom and Patsy Plant told The Post and Courier of Charleston they were eating at Virginia's restaurant and saw a man come out of the kitchen with a gun in his hand who said, "There's a new boss in town."
The man looked like "an ordinary grandpa, but he had a crazy look," the couple said. They were able to escape out a back door.
The site is a few blocks 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.