Charleston Chef Tragically Killed During a Hostage Standoff
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
The Holy City and the culinary community at large are mourning the loss of one of their own. On Thursday, August 24, a disgruntled employee entered popular Charleston restaurant, Virginia’s on King, and shot and killed 37-year-old executive chef, Anthony Shane Whiddon. The shooter held one person hostage, prompting a three-hour standoff with police that ended with the suspect being shot and wounded. The suspect’s name has not yet been released, and the hostage was reported unharmed.
Whiddon was a beloved member of the Charleston community—a loving father, husband, and friend who enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting and fishing. The news of Whiddon’s death Thursday afternoon has been met with an outpouring of grief and sympathy from those who worked with him and knew him personally, as well as those who were fortunate enough to taste his signature dish of shrimp and grits. Friends of Whiddon from Charleston and around the South are also standing in solidarity and paying their respects in wake of this terrible tragedy.
"I remember Shane being more than just a passionate fun-loving chef," said Matt Bolus, chef at The 404 Kitchen in Nashville. "He was a personality—one of the most generous souls who always had time to help and teach. He was there when you needed him for both his personal family and work family."
Chef Jimihatt of Guerilla Cuisine in Charleston referred to Whiddon as his friend, expressing to Southern Living that this was a terrible loss for the restaurant community.
Chef Scott Crawford of Crawford & Son restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, said he knew Whiddon as a cook and described him as a "fun person to be around in the kitchen."
“He balanced playfulness and discipline well, but what really struck me about Shane was the tenderness and devotion he showed his family," Crawford told SL. "I remember cooking out at his home and seeing him light up around them. He was such a loving husband and proud father."
Charleston chefs and restaurateurs Mike Lata and Brooks Reitz didn’t know Whiddon personally, but said they’d be there to offer the family support in any way. If you'd like to help the Whiddon family during this heartbreaking time, you can also donate to their GoFundMe.
Other members of the community, including Marty Wall, managing director of Holy City Hospitality, have shared their memories and condolences on social media as well.
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We here at Southern Living are also grieving as Chef Whiddon was a friend to us as well and recently visited our offices in Birmingham. We send our deepest condolences to his peers and to his family.