Virginia’s Executive Chef Anthony Shane Whiddon was shot and killed during an altercation with a suspected disgruntled employee which ended in a hostage situation at the restaurant Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Coroner Sheila Williams released 37-year-old Whiddon's name as the homicide victim Thursday night a little after 11 p.m.
Charleston police responded to a potential shooting situation on King Street near Hutson Street today. Following a call to Charleston County Dispatch at 12:17 p.m. in reference to a shooting within the 400 block of King Street. According to Charleston County Coroner’s Office, Whiddon "was transported by Charleston County EMS to the Medical University of South Carolina where he was pronounced deceased. The investigating agencies include SLED, Charleston Police Department, and the Charleston County Coroner’s Office. Following a roughly three-hour hostage situation, just before 1 o'clock, CPD announced the gunman had been shot. He remains in critical condition. Mayor Tecklenburg said the gunman Thomas Demetrius Burns had a history of mental health issues.
Whiddon had been leading the kitchen at Virginia’s — owned and operated by Bennett Hospitality
— since last August after moving his wife and children to Charleston from Sea Island, Ga. in 2014 to take the position as lead chef at the former Union Provisions. Whiddon formerly worked at Charleston Grill under Bob Waggoner and later Scott Crawford.
Bennett Hospitality has not released a statement.
Throughout Thursday evening, the F&B community and Whiddon's friends and family posted messages of love and support on his Facebook page.
One former co-worker said, "He was one of those people who was loved and admired by everyone they encountered."
This is an ongoing story. We will report more as details as we have them.