Police officers in Charleston, US state of South Carolina, responded to an “active shooter situation,” authorities said on Thursday.

“A shooting was reported just after noon in downtown Charleston near a row of restaurants and shops popular with tourists,” Xinhua quoted Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis as saying.

The spokesman did not mention whether there were injuries or provide description of a potential suspect.

Local reports said the police department sent SWAT teams and a bomb disposal unit to the area. Police are asking people to stay inside and those outside to avoid the area. 

Earlier on August 20, at least one police officer was killed and 5 others wounded in three separate shootings in US states of Florida and Pennsylvania, authorities reported.

The police officer, who was fatally shot, was responding to a suspicious activity call with a colleague before being caught in gunfire in Kissimmee, a city in Virginia.