Executive Chef Gunned Down by Disgruntled Ex-Dishwasher

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
August 25, 2017US News
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Executive Chef Gunned Down by Disgruntled Ex-Dishwasher
Charleston, S.C. Police Department block access to King Street in front of the restaurant Virginia's on King in Charleston, S.C.,Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. A disgruntled employee shot a gun in the restaurant and a hostage situation happened after the shooting. Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says the hostage situation has ended with the gunman being shot by police. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Peter Siegert IV and his family were about to tuck into their fried chicken lunch at Virginia’s on King in downtown Charleston when he noticed waitresses and kitchen staff leaving the restaurant through the front door.

Then he saw a man dressed like an employee, wearing an apron and a backwards baseball hat, walk into the dining room to make an announcement.

“There’s a new boss in town,” the man said, according to Siegert.

“I don’t think anybody realized he had a gun until after he locked the door,” Siegert told CBS.

A Charleston, S.C, police officer escorts Kathleen Dayton, left, and her mother Maria Vereen, from James Island, S.C., down King Street away from the restaurant Virginia's after a hostage situation was over in front of the restaurant Virginia's on King in Charleston, S.C., Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. A disgruntled employee shot a gun in the restaurant and a hostage situation happened after the shooting. Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says the hostage situation has ended with the gunman being shot by police. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
A Charleston, S.C, police officer escorts Kathleen Dayton, left, and her mother Maria Vereen, from James Island, S.C., down King Street away from the restaurant Virginia’s after a hostage situation was over in front of the restaurant Virginia’s on King in Charleston, S.C., Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.  (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

The gunman that told every one to get on the floor and crawl to the back of the restaurant.

“He then turned around, then he told us to get on the ground,” Amy Sloan, who was having lunch with her family, told CBS.

“He probably repeated it two or three times,” she added.

Everyone thought the man was kidding until they saw the gun, Sloan said.

“At this point it was very clear it was a very scary situation,” she said. “He told us to get out from the back.”

A Charleston, S.C. Police officer blocks access to King Street near the restaurant Virginia's on King in Charleston, S.C.,Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
A Charleston, S.C. Police officer blocks access to King Street near the restaurant Virginia’s on King in Charleston, S.C.,Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

The lunch crowd left through the open doors at the rear of the restaurant.

Siegert didn’t hear any shots himself, but authorities and one of the restaurant’s owners said the gunman shot and killed the executive chef. The shooter was a dishwasher at the eatery who was recently fired.

Shane Whiddon, 37, is the victim, according to Deputy Charleston County coroner Sheila Willaims.

Whiddon came on as executive chef at Virginia 10 months ago.

Prior to that he had more than 17 years of experience cooking for restaurants in the south, including at the Sea Island Company’s luxury resort on the Georgia coast.

Police gather near the scene of a reported shooting scene at Virgina's on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, Aug.24, 2017. Grace Beahm Alford/The Post and Courier
Police gather near the scene of a reported shooting scene at Virgina’s on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, Aug.24, 2017. Grace Beahm Alford/The Post and Courier

After killing Whiddon, the gunman held one person hostage for three hours. Police eventually shot and critically wounded the suspect, whose identity remain unknown.

The hostage was unharmed in the standoff, according to Charleston Mayor John Tecklenberg.

The attack was “the act of a disgruntled employee” Tecklenburg said.

“This was a tragic case of a disturbed individual, I think, with a history of some mental health challenges,” the mayor added.

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