The suspect in a deadly shooting at an Atlanta medical facility on Wednesday was captured in Cobb County, several miles northwest of the location of Northside Hospital’s Midtown Medical where the shooting took place.
Aerial video from WXIA showed Cobb County police leading Deion Patterson, 24, across a parking lot to a waiting police cruiser. He was driven to Atlanta Police headquarters.
The shooting took place just after 11 a.m. in a waiting room on the 11th floor of the facility. Police identified the suspect as 24-year-old Deion Patterson and said he had gone to the center with his mother. Witnesses said Patterson became “enraged” and opened fire, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Five women were shot, one — a 39-year-old woman — fatally. The other four women were taken to Grady Hospital, where three were said to be in critical condition and the fourth in stable condition. The victims have not yet been identified, but police said the ages of those wounded were 71, 56, 39, and 25.
Then, he fled the scene. Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said that he went to a nearby gas station “where he commandeered a vehicle … that was left running” and took off. A Department of Transportation camera spotted the vehicle in Cobb County at about 12:30 p.m., giving investigators a clue as to where he might be headed.
Schools and businesses were put on lockdown in the Midtown area after the shooting, but a shelter in place order was lifted by mid-afternoon once investigators were confident Patterson was no longer in the area.
Police in Cobb County found the truck abandoned in a parking garage near The Battery, a mixed use development, and the Atlanta Braves stadium. Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer told reporters that a combination of technology and trained people fielding phone calls tracked Patterson, eventually locating him at a condominium complex shortly before 8 p.m.
Witnesses told WXIA that Patterson was seen wandering almost aimlessly around the complex, still, apparently, carrying his gun, before police swooped into the complex and took him into custody without incident.
Neither Hampton nor VanHoozer provided details about the hunt and apprehension of Patterson, but Hampton said that he had an appointment at the medical facility Wednesday morning and was accompanied there by his mother, who was not one of the people shot. Hampton also said that Patterson used a handgun in the shooting but didn’t say what kind.
The officials did not say what might have led to the shooting, noting that was part of the continuing investigation.
“One woman died and there are four more in the hospital fighting for their lives,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said.
“This was a horrible act of gun violence,” he said. “Equally horrifying is that we know this is not unique. We have a national epidemic of gun violence, and we have a serious problem with how we treat mental health. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Earlier, police said Patterson, who left the US Coast Guard earlier this year, had only minor criminal interactions prior to Wednesday.
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[Featured image: Arrest of Deion Patterson/WXIA screenshot]