One person was shot and hostages taken in what police are describing as an 'active shooter situation' in a restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina.

The shooter is a disgruntled restaurant employee, according to police.

"This is not act of terrorism," Mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters Thursday. "This is not a hate crime. It's a disgruntled employee who has come on the scene of his employment."

Several hostages remain held in the Virginia's restaurant. Police are currently engaged in negotiations with the shooter.

Police asked civilians to keep away from the area around the restaurant.