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Atlanta shooting suspect in custody after hourslong manhunt

May 4, 2023

The suspect in a mass shooting at a Midtown Atlanta medical building that left one woman dead and four others wounded Wednesday is in custody after an hourslong manhunt, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

Authorities searched for nearly eight hours after they said 24-year-old Deion Patterson opened fire in the waiting room of Northside Hospital Medical, killing a 39-year-old woman and sending four others to the hospital before fleeing in a vehicle he carjacked nearby.

Authorities were called to the scene just after noon Wednesday, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said. The women wounded range in age from 25 to 71.

Patterson was seen in the carjacked vehicle on license plate recognition cameras in the Cobb County area around 12:30 p.m., Cobb County Police Sgt. Wayne Delk said in an evening news conference.

Cobb County was not alerted until around 2:30 p.m. that the suspect may be in the area, which is when they began searching the license plate camera footage, Delk said.

The footage of Patterson was taken from a camera located by Windy Ridge Parkway and Heritage Court. The carjacked vehicle was later recovered by Atlanta police in a parking garage near Truist Park, Delk said. Truist Park is the baseball stadium where the Atlanta Braves play.

Patterson was apprehended in a condominium complex near Truist Park at roughly 7:45 p.m. local time, a Cobb County Police officer told CNN’s Gary Tuchman.

Suspect was seeking new treatment

A high-level source with the Atlanta Police Department told CNN that, according to Patterson’s mother, the suspect was seeking new treatment after being dissatisfied with the care he was receiving from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

CNN has reached out to the VA for comment.

The suspect was a former Coast Guardsman.

Patterson “entered the Coast Guard in July 2018 and last served as an Electrician’s Mate Second Class,” a Wednesday statement from the Coast Guard said. “He was discharged from active duty in January 2023.”

The Coast Guard said they are working “closely” with Atlanta police and other authorities in the shooting investigation.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families,” the statement said.

4 victims being treated at hospital, 3 of them in ICU

The four victims were taken to downtown’s Grady Memorial Hospital – Atlanta’s only Level 1 trauma center.

Three of them, who came to the hospital in critical condition, were in the intensive care unit late Wednesday evening, while the fourth victim was in stable condition, the hospital said in a statement.

The three critical patients underwent surgery before they were moved to the ICU, the statement said.

One of the critical patients needed surgery for a gunshot wound to the abdomen while the other for a wound to the arm, a hospital representative had said earlier. The third patient was taken to the hospital for a gunshot wound to the face and required an interventional radiology procedure, which is used to stop bleeding by means of catheters inserted directly into blood vessels, the hospital said.

The fourth victim, who is stable, will likely not need surgery, Grady Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Jansen said in an earlier news conference.

Suspect was considered armed and dangerous

Police earlier issued a “be on the lookout” for the suspect saying he should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

The Atlanta Police Department earlier released images showing the suspected shooter wearing a hoodie, asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 911.

A high-level source within the Atlanta Police Department told CNN the suspect and his mother arrived Wednesday for a medical appointment for himself. The man at some point became agitated and started shooting using a handgun.

Atlanta police spokesperson Chata Spikes similarly said the man was attending a medical appointment for himself when the shooting occurred. Police declined to further describe the nature of the appointment, citing HIPAA regulations.

The man’s mother, who was uninjured, is currently cooperating with police, Atlanta police told CNN.

Northside Hospital confirmed the shooting at its Midtown location, saying on Twitter it was cooperating with law enforcement.

“We urge people in the area to shelter in place and follow instructions from law enforcement on the scene,” the hospital system said. “This tragedy is affecting all of us, and we ask for patience and prayers at this time.”

US has seen 190 mass shootings in 2023

In what has become routine in America, Wednesday’s shooting interrupted daily life in a place many would consider safe. This time, it was in a doctor’s office, but so often it’s been US schools, grocery stores and houses of worship.

Including the shooting at the Atlanta medical facility, there have been at least 190 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which, like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, excluding the shooter.

The Atlanta Police Department tweeted earlier Wednesday it was investigating an active shooter incident inside a building on West Peachtree Street, between 12th and 13th streets, saying multiple people had been injured.

Videos shared with CNN showed police running on the scene as sirens blared. Multiple fire trucks, at least one armored police vehicle and deputies from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office were seen outside the building, which sits in a bustling area of the city, with Google’s offices, hotels, restaurants, apartment buildings and at least two day care centers located nearby.

Atlanta resident Annie Eaveson lives at the Atlantic House apartments a block away and told CNN her building was placed on lockdown as the incident unfolded.

“I saw two people taken out on stretchers. Waves of armored officers went inside in shifts almost. You can see medical professionals huddled up in offices.”

As the search for the gunman continued, construction worker Eddie Mwangi told CNN he was stopped at a nearby garage, where officers approached him, asked him for identification and pulled their guns on him.

“I guess they thought it was me because when I (saw) a picture of the suspect he looked just like me,” he said. Once the situation was resolved, Mwangi was taken to an adjacent building, where he saw several nurses crying shortly after the shooting had unfolded, he said.

“It was real surreal,” he said of the sight. “You’d never thought that you could experience something like that. I mean, you see it on TV all the time, but you never actually think it’s going to happen to you.” (CNN)

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