Charleston hostage-taker shot

Police are working on a hostage situation in the United States
Police are working on a hostage situation in the United States Photo credit: Twitter - Andrew Knapp

A gunman who took hostages at a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina has been shot.

He's been taken to hospital in critical condition.

One person has been confirmed dead, said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.

A "disgruntled employee" was involved in the shooting, said Mayor Tecklenburg.

"This is not act of terrorism. This is not a hate crime. It's a disgruntled employee who has come on the scene of his employment," he said.

The shooter walked through the front door of the restaurant with a gun declaring, "I am the new king of Charleston," locals said.

Charleston police's bomb squad and SWAT personnel were quickly on the scene.

Local woman Sandy Troeder told WCIV she saw police and the SWAT team break down the restaurant's door and enter with dogs and guns. She said they carried a body out, but couldn't see if there was blood.

Police helicopters had circled the area as authorities on the ground increased the perimeter around the restaurant.

Cordons around the restaurant have been lifted.

Newshub.