Friends, former co-workers remember slain Charleston chef

Mourners began leaving flowers outside Virginia's on King Friday. (Source: Live 5)
Mourners began leaving flowers outside Virginia's on King Friday. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Friends and old co-workers are remembering Shane Whiddon by sharing fond memories they have of the slain chef.

Mourners began leaving flowers outside of Virginia's on King, where Whiddon served as executive chef of the popular downtown restaurant.

Whiddon's name was all over social media Friday as friends, family, co-workers and even random strangers remember his positivity. Most people pointed out his kind heart and talent as a chef.

Abbie Pitner, a former co-worker, said she looks back on a job she had with joy because Whiddon was a co-worker.

Thursday's news came as a surprise to Pitner.

"You just don't ever think it's someone you know," she said. "So you're like, 'Wait, is this the Shane Whiddon that I know? The chef that I worked for?"

Pitner knew the active shooter situation was happening inside a restaurant on King Street. It wasn't until she woke up Friday morning that she realized the victim was someone she knew well.

"I knew him and I spent a lot of months, almost every single day with him, working long shifts with him, so… I don't know he's kind of like family to me so it hit me really hard this morning hearing about that," she said.

Pitner worked with Whiddon at a restaurant a few years ago. He was the head chef at Union Provisions.

"He was such a fun guy," she recalls. "We had so much fun in the kitchen."

Overwhelmingly, people on social media are remembering Whiddon's kindness.

"He was so open and so willing to like teach us and help us with anything that we needed," Pitner said. "And, yeah, just like so awesome. Like I felt like it was one of the most fun kitchens I've ever been a part of."

Pitner says you can see that kindness reflected in the response of the food and beverage community.

"A lot of people didn't even know him but because they work in food and beverage they decided they're going to support him no matter what because he's one of our own."

Support the community is eager to provide but regrets having to.

"I don't think it's fair. Especially knowing him," Pitner said. "I mean, I wouldn't wish it on anyone but especially not the chef."

A GoFundMe page created to support the family had a goal of $23,000, but in just a few hours, donations reached that goal.

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