Just days after a dishwasher shot and killed a chef after holding staff hostage in a South Carolina restaurant, a fundraising campaign to aid the wife and children of victim Shane Whiddon has nearly met its $100,000 goal. With the help of nearly 1,400 donors, the GoFundMe campaign had reached over $95,400 as of Aug. 28.
“The family is so appreciative of all the support,” wrote Terri Thomas Wall, one of Whiddon’s neighbors in Goose Creek, South Carolina, and the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign. “Tears of relief, gratitude, and I’m sure other emotions when told the amount raised so far.”
According to CNN, the shooting happened at Virginia’s on King — a Southern-style eatery in the heart of downtown Charleston — around noon on Aug. 24. Several hostages were safely released around 3:30 p.m. the same day.
“This is not [an] act of terrorism,” Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters. “This is not a hate crime. It’s a disgruntled employee who has come on the scene of his employment.”
An officer critically wounded the gunman, Thomas Burns, who was then taken to a local hospital. According to CBS affiliate WCSC-TV, Burns, 53, pled guilty in 2010 to selling heroin to an undercover officer and has served two terms in prison, once for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill, and once for robbery and assault.