Police said one person was shot and taken to the hospital.
Sandy Troeder, who works at a hair salon across the street from Virginia's, told CNN affiliate WCIV that she saw police and a SWAT team break down the restaurant's door and enter with dogs and machine guns.
Police have evacuated the the area just a couple of blocks north of the College of Charleston campus as they continue to negotiate with the gunman.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.
As of this moment, the area surrounding Virginia's - the restaurant where the shooting occurred - is still being guarded by Charleston police and SWAT teams as this is still considered an active shooter situation.
"This was not an act of terrorism", Mayor John Tecklenburg said. This was not a hate crime.
A patron that was inside Virginia's when the shooter walked in described him as "an ordinary grandpa, but he had a insane look".
"We do know already at this point that the shooter is a disgruntled employee". After walking out with a revolver, the gunman locked the front door and ordered all patrons to the back of the restaurant, where some people were able to flee.
Dispatchers say a weapon is involved, but police have not yet provided specific details. Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in the case.
"I heard that a dishwasher got fired and came back in and shot the chef", said a local man, John Aquino. He did not say whether they were any injuries or give any description of a suspect.
This is a developing story.