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Shooter In Atlanta Medical Office Was Seeking Drug For Anxiety

Police arrested a man accused of opening fire in the waiting room of an Atlanta medical practice Wednesday, killing one woman and wounding four. Workers and others in a bustling commercial district took shelter for hours during the manhunt. Authorities swarmed the city’s midtown neighborhood in search of the shooter. Police said the suspect, Deion Patterson, 24, was captured in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta, reports the Associated Press. Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said, “Why he did what he did, all of that is still under investigation.” Patterson had an appointment at the medical building and opened fire shortly after arriving in an attack that lasted about two minutes, law enforcement officials said. Patterson then went to a gas station and took a pickup truck that had been left running and unattended. News of the shooting prompted workers and lunchgoers in the neighborhood of office towers and high-rise apartments to shelter in place for hours. Amy St. Pierre, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene. The four wounded women — aged 25, 39, 56 and 71 — remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday night.

Patterson’s mother, Minyone Patterson, who police said had accompanied her son to the medical office, said that her son, a former Coast Guardsman, had “some mental instability going on” from medication that he began taking on Friday. She said her son wanted Ativan to deal with anxiety and depression but that the Veterans Affairs health system wouldn’t provide it because it would be “too addicting.” “Those families, those families,” she said, starting to sob. “They’re hurting because they wouldn’t give my son his damn Ativan. Those families lost their loved ones because he had a mental break because they wouldn’t listen to me.” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens applauded the fact that Patterson was arrested so he can be prosecuted. “Right now, we’ve had a successful end to a traumatic day,” Dickens said, while also advocating for tougher gun laws and stressing the importance of police training. Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer said technology played a big role in finding the suspect, along with Department of Transportation cameras and community members calling with information. “Those tools are really what got us the clues that we we needed to make this successful — and the people getting those clues,” VanHoozer said. The pickup truck was found in a parking garage not far from the stadium where the Atlanta Braves play. Patterson was arrested near a tennis court and swimming pool in a nearby condominium complex.


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