CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The news of the shooting at Virginia's on King in downtown Charleston spread across the country Thursday afternoon, leaving many people to share their sympathies via social media.
South Carolina lawmakers including Governor Henry McMaster, Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant, Senator Tim Scott and Representative Mark Sanford all made brief statements on the shooting.
"We send our prayers to lift up the families affected by today's tragedy in Charleston," Governor McMaster tweeted. "As they always do, our law enforcement officer put their lives on the line today and likely prevented further loss of life. On behalf of a grateful South Carolina, thank you."
Lt. Governor Bryant wrote:
"Today in Charleston, members of my staff and I were about one mile away from the shooting on King Street. I am thankful for the Charleston Police and Sheriff Cannon and his team for their rapid response to this situation. If you are in Charleston's historic district, please avoid King Street and join me and my family as we pray for the victims, hostages, and all first responders involved."
Congressmen including Senator Scott and Representative Sanford also provided brief statements.
"Prayers on King Street," Scott tweeted.
"My prayers are with those families affected by today's shooting on King Street," Sanford wrote in a statement. "The swift response by the men and women of the Charleston Police Department prevented even greater loss of life, and for that, I am grateful."
Hootie and the Blowfish, the popular band native to Charleston, also tweeted out, "We are saddened to hear about what happened today in Charleston. Our thoughts are with those affected and their families."
Many of the other restaurants in downtown Charleston also gave their sympathies via social media.
"Our prayers to our neighbors at Virginia's on King losing a family member senselessly," tweeted Gentry Bar & Room. "From our southern family to yours."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the staff and the families of Virginia's on King," wrote Mondo's Italian Cuisine on Facebook. "Your Charleston F & B family stands with you."
Charleston's Café wrote in part, "Saddened to share this news this evening. Hug each other a little longer and tighter."
"It is a sad, sad day for the Charleston community," wrote Craft Conundrum. "Our heartfelt condolences to the Virginia's on King family today."
Charleston's mayor confirmed that one person died in the shooting and hostage situation.
Mayor John Tecklenburg said the gunman was wounded and has been transported to an area hospital in critical condition.
The identities of the victim and the gunman have not been released.