Authorities have identified the man killed in a Charleston restaurant shooting by a man the city’s mayor called a “disgruntled employee.”
Deputy Charleston County Coroner Sheila Williams said Anthony Shane Whiddon, 37, of Goose Creek, was the chef killed Thursday. He was the executive chef at Virginia’s on King, a popular Southern cuisine restaurant on King Street north of Marion Square, one of the busiest streets of the Holy City.
A friend of the Whiddons said the chef left behind a wife and two young boys. Whiddon’s last post on Facebook before he was killed was posted at 9:33 a.m. The comments are loaded with friends mourning his loss and lamenting the incident.
A GoFundMe account has been established by a friend and neighbor seeking to raise funds to help the Whiddon family.
A bio page on the Virginia’s on King describes Whiddon as having a passion for the kitchen that was “influenced by his love for hunting, fishing, gardening and time spent with family and friends.” He loves to “spend time outdoor and to be with his wife and two boys.”
A native of Georgia, Whiddon was hired as Virginia's top chef a year ago. He had been cooking for more than 17 years at restaurants in the South, including at the Sea Island Company's posh resort on the Georgia coast. That’s according to an August 2016 news release Virginia's owners used to promote the newly hired Whiddon and his “new menu that highlights 100 percent scratch-made ingredients.”
Multiple media outlets have reported that a chef had fired a dishwasher, who returned to avenge his firing. Authorities have not confirmed that. Charleston City Police also have not identified the accused shooter who was critically wounded by officers attempting to arrest him.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg repeatedly stressed the shooting was restricted to the restaurant by a “disgruntled employee.”
“This was not a terrorist act,” Tecklenburg said. “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan