Midtown Atlanta shooting suspect detained after hours of investigation

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After a chaotic investigation that lasted nearly eight hours, authorities Wednesday arrested a man accused of shooting and killing a midtown Atlanta medical building. A 38-year-old woman and four others were injured.

The alleged gunman, 24-year-old Dion Patterson, entered Northside Medical Midtown just before noon and shot and killed the first victim shortly thereafter, said Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton. . Authorities said the suspect used a handgun in the attack before fleeing on foot and hijacking a nearby vehicle.

The murdered woman was Amy St. Pierre, according to the Fulton County Coroner’s Office. According to the CDC, St. Pierre worked for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The women injured in the shooting ranged in age from 25 to 71. They were taken to a nearby Atlanta hospital, three of whom arrived in critical condition.

The shooting, the latest in an ongoing string of gun violence across the United States, prompted authorities to ask residents and patrons visiting the area to take shelter in place while police searched for the shooter. It sent shockwaves through Atlanta’s bustling Midtown neighborhood. The mayor said it was a “traumatic day” for the city.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said Wednesday night that “this was a terrifying act of gun violence, but what’s equally terrifying is that we know this is not unique to our country.” “Further action is needed to protect the right of citizens to live so that they can go to clinics, supermarkets, gas stations and schools without fear of being shot.”

At a press conference announcing the arrest, Hampton said the suspect spent about two minutes at the medical center before setting off on foot and heading to a nearby Shell base. Hampton said the shooter found an unmanned pickup truck there and hijacked it.

About 20 minutes later, a camera captured the vehicle’s tag number, and police called the suspect in Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta, he added.

“Technology played a big role,” Cobb County Police Chief Stuart Van Hooser said at a news conference. “But technology is useless without people determined to catch individuals trying to do things like this. And today we saw where those two things come together.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 191 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, including one at an Atlanta medical facility, and like CNN, a mass shooting results in at least four people being shot. defined as an incident. , excluding shooters.

Residents told CNN that the suspect was held inside a gated apartment complex in Cobb County about 16 miles north of the shooting.

Christy Colwell, a Waterford Place resident, said she was concerned that the suspect was hiding in the pool area with a viewing platform after dogs were barking in the complex. She responded to the noise call and called the police at the facility.

“He just started running at the cop and said, ‘Go on the lawn!'” Let’s go on the lawn! said resident Debra Sansavieri. “Suddenly, about 30 police cars flew by.”

Banhouser said the 911 operator called a police officer for what he believed to be a suspect.

“We prioritized radio calls,” he said, adding that both an undercover agent and a uniformed police officer were dispatched to the scene.

“I believe it was an undercover agent who first discovered and confronted this individual, but then with the help of uniformed officers who came in, I believe they were able to safely detain him.” Van Hooser said.

A senior Atlanta police official told CNN that Patterson’s mother said he was unhappy with the care he was receiving from the Department of Veterans Affairs and had sought new treatment. .

CNN has reached out to the VA for comment.

The suspect was a former Coast Guard officer. Patterson “entered the Coast Guard in July 2018 and last served as an electrical engineer second officer,” a Coast Guard statement Wednesday said. “He retired from active duty in January 2023.”

The Coast Guard said it was working “closely” with Atlanta police and other authorities in investigating the shooting.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families,” it said in a statement.

A CDC spokesperson said the CDC was deeply saddened to learn of the death of staff member St-Pierre.

“My heart goes out to her family, friends and colleagues who are remembering her and grieving this tragic loss,” CDC spokeswoman Benjamin Haynes said in an email.

Amy St. Pierre died in the Atlanta shooting.

four injured Victims were taken downtown to Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta’s only Level 1 trauma center.

Three of the victims, who came to the hospital in critical condition, were admitted to intensive care late Wednesday night, while the fourth victim is in stable condition, the hospital said in a statement.

Three critically ill patients underwent surgery before being transferred to the ICU, the statement said.

One of the critically ill patients needed surgery for a gunshot wound to the abdomen and another needed surgery for a wound on the arm, hospital representatives said earlier. A third patient was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the face and required a radiation therapy procedure to stop the bleeding using a catheter inserted directly into her veins, the hospital said.

The fourth victim is in stable condition but will not require surgery, Grady Health System chief medical officer Dr. Robert Jansen said at a recent press conference.

Police earlier said they were “alarmed” about the suspect, saying he was considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Atlanta police released a picture of the suspected shooter wearing a hoodie and urged anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 911.

Follow Live Updates: One Dead, Multiple Shots, Police Announcement in Midtown Atlanta

The Atlanta Police Department tweeted:

A senior Atlanta police official told CNN that the suspect and his mother arrived Wednesday for their doctor’s appointment. At one point the man got agitated and started firing with a handgun.

Atlanta Police spokesman Chata Spikes similarly said the man had self-examined himself when the shooting occurred. Police declined to comment further on the appointment, citing HIPAA regulations.

Atlanta Police told CNN that the man’s mother was not injured and is currently cooperating with police.

This photo released by Atlanta police shows Dion Patterson, 24, the suspected shooter in midtown Atlanta.

Northside Hospital confirmed the shooting at the Midtown hospital and said on Twitter it was cooperating with law enforcement.

Northside Medical Midtown will be closed on Thursday, canceling all patient appointments for the day, the hospital system said. twitter.

A video shared with CNN showed police rushing to the scene with sirens blaring. Multiple fire engines, at least one armored police vehicle, and agents from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office were seen outside the building. The building is located in the downtown area of ​​the city and houses Google offices, a hotel, a restaurant, an apartment building and at least two daycares. Center nearby.

Atlanta resident Annie Eaveson, who lives in the Atlantic House apartment block a block away, told CNN that her building was put on lockdown as the incident unfolded.

“I saw two people being carried out on stretchers. Waves of armored officers almost took turns coming inside. I see medical professionals congregating in offices.”

Law enforcement officers arrive near the scene of an active shooter in midtown Atlanta, Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Construction worker Eddie Mwangi told CNN that during a search for the shooter, he was stopped at a nearby garage when a police officer approached him, asked for his ID and held him at gunpoint.

“When they saw the suspect’s picture, they thought it was me because he looked just like me,” he said. Once the situation was resolved, Mwangi said he was taken to an adjacent building where he saw several nurses crying shortly after the shooting started.

“It was really surreal,” he said of the sight. “You never thought you could go through something like this. I mean, you see it on TV all the time, but I never thought it would actually happen to me.”

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