The spokesman did not mention whether there were injuries or provide description of a potential suspect.
"A disgruntled employee came back to his place of employment. with a gun and killed an individual in the restaurant, held another hostage for some time", Tecklenburg told reporters at the scene. Authorities instructed people inside to stay inside and those outside to leave the area.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.
The restaurant was packed with a lunchtime crowd and the first officers to arrive were able to get the man who was shot and a number of diners out safely, interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor said.
Several hostages are holed up inside a Southern-style restaurant called Virginia's, in the heart of downtown Charleston, according to Charleston police spokesperson Charles Francis.
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Witnesses say a man walked out of the restaurant's kitchen with a loaded revolver and said: "there's a new boss in town", the Post and Courier reports.
One witness told The Post and Courier that the gunman looked like "an ordinary grandpa, but he had a insane look".
'This was not an act of terrorism, ' Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg rushed to reassure the public. This was not a hate crime.
The gunman appears to be disgruntled employee or former employee.
The man looked like "an ordinary grandpa, but he had a insane look", the couple said.
This is a developing story.