Charleston police responding to 'active shooter' situation

Charleston police responding to 'active shooter' situation

Charleston Police confirmed one person has been shot and a hostage situation is underway at a downtown restaurant.

Mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters that several hostages were safely released.

He says that this was not a hate crime. "This was a tragic case of a disgruntled individual, I think with a history of some mental health challenges, who took his anger into his own hands", he said.

Police said they were that hostages were also being kept in the upscale Southern restaurant, though it was not immediately clear how many were held. The shooting was reported shortly after noon.

Charleston Police Department said King Street had been blocked to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and warned civilians to stay away from the area.

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Still, onlookers could be seen gathering under a light rain and taking photos and video with their cellphones as helicopters buzzed overhead and police snipers took their positions.

Local business were evacuated and the Charleston School of Law campus was put on lockdown, as responders worked to resolve the situation. Avoid the area as authorities respond to the situation.

Cobb described evacuations of nearby businesses and officers with guns pointed toward the restaurant.

Hostage negotiators are on the scene as well as medics and police. Police carried a body out, but she couldn't see who it was or if there was blood.

John Aquino told broadcaster WCSC-TV that he thought the gunman had recently been fired and had come back to take revenge. So far in 2017, the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive said the United States has had 239 mass shootings, which it defines as an incident in which at least four people were shot at or killed.

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