An hour-long manhunt ended with the capture of a suspect in a nearby county, according to police, who is accused of opening fire in a waiting room of an Atlanta medical facility on Wednesday, ki!!ing a lady and injuring four others.
Around eight hours after the fatal shooting shortly after noon, Atlanta police announced the arrest of Deion Patterson, 24.
According to officials, he was detained in Cobb County, northwest of the city.
However, it was still unknown why Patterson is said to have started shooting in a waiting area on the 11th floor of a Northside Hospital medical facility.
“We know that he had an appointment at the facility,” Charles Hampton, deputy chief of the Atlanta police, remarked during a press conference. “Why he did what he did, all that is still under investigation.”
As police converged on Atlanta’s Midtown, Patterson fled, according to authorities. At a nearby gas station, a pickup truck that was left running was stolen, according to Hampton.
Around 12:30 pm, Cobb County’s Transportation Department cameras captured the suspect and the vehicle, according to local police.
According to Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer, Patterson was apprehended due to the video and a 911 call regarding a potential sighting.
The five victims were all shot, and they were all female. They are not known to the general population. According to medical officials, three people were still in severe condition Wednesday night. The fourth one held steady.
Amy St. Pierre, 39, a worker at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was named the deceased woman, according to the health organization.
The ages of the four injured were 71, 56, 39, and 25, according to Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were clients or staff members of the hospital.
“It’s still too soon to know why these individuals were chosen,” Schierbaum said at a news conference earlier Wednesday.
According to Hampton, the handgun the shooter used has been found.
According to authorities, Patterson was with his mother for an appointment at the hospital.
A woman who answered the phone at a number connected to the suspect’s mother politely declined to comment before handing the phone to an Atlanta policeman.
The chief claimed that the shooter’s family had cooperated with detectives and that his mother was unharmed by the gunshots.
It stated that Patterson served in the Coast Guard. According to a statement, he joined the Coast Guard in July 2018 and most recently worked as a second-class electrician’s mate. In January, he was released from active duty.
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According to Dr. Robert Jansen, chief medical officer at Grady Memorial Hospital, two injured persons needed surgery, while the third got a less invasive vascular procedure.
He added that up to 12 gunshot victims could be treated at the hospital, prepared for a potential “mass casualty event,” he said.
“Within minutes, we had multiple trauma surgeons, multiple staff” ready for shooting victims, Jansen said. “We were fully prepared. We were anticipating up to 12 patients. Fortunately we only received four.”
According to its website, the Northside Hospital location where the incident occurred has a cancer center, an orthopedic institute, a radiology unit, and more.
“This tragedy is affecting all of us, and we ask for patience and prayers at this time,” Northside Hospital Healthcare System said.
Northside Medical Midtown will be closed Thursday, May 4. All patient appointments are canceled. Please follow up directly with your provider to reschedule. https://t.co/N5nnJQncXc pic.twitter.com/ITSZv2o1UW
— Northside Hospital (@NorthsideHosp) May 3, 2023
Around 12:30 p.m., police tweeted that an “active shooter” investigation was underway and advised residents to avoid the area around 1110 West Peachtree Street. Just after 3 p.m., Atlanta police lifted the shelter-in-place order.
The street where the facility is located was swarmed with police cars and ambulances within minutes of the police notice.
Atlanta’s central artery, Peachtree Street, is dotted with pubs, comedy clubs, boutiques, and various restaurants.
In what is typically a busy lunch rush in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood, which is full of hotels, museums, and restaurants, there were few pedestrians on the street.
Officials with Atlanta Public Schools reported that nearby institutions had been placed on lockdown. Later, the students were dismissed.
Atlanta Public Schools Safety Alert pic.twitter.com/uLdotBhUgF
— ATL Public Schools (@apsupdate) May 3, 2023
The ability to use the Transportation Department cameras, according to VanHoozer, the head of police for Cobb County, was a crucial asset in locating Patterson.
“Those cameras proved extremely helpful today. That is where we got the precise location of the building that he walked into,” he said.
A report to the police resulted in an undercover cop running into Patterson, who was then safely apprehended by other officers after their arrival, according to the witness.
According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris were briefed on the shooting.
Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, a Democrat, claimed that the lockdowns affected his two kids.
“This is knocking on all of our doors, and I feel this this afternoon, in a very real sense,” Warnock said on the Senate floor. “I feel it in my bones, because my own two children were on lockdown this afternoon. I have two small children, and their schools were on lockdown responding to this tragedy. They’re there; I’m here. Hoping and praying that they are safe. But the truth is none of us is safe.”
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