(OSV News) — Five women were shot, one fatally, in the waiting room of a medical office in Atlanta May 3, sparking area lockdowns and a manhunt that lasted into the late evening.
Atlanta Police announced just after 8 p.m. Eastern that they had 24-year-old Deion Patterson in custody after a manhunt that lasted nearly eight hours. Patterson was at Northside Hospital Medical Midtown for an appointment, according to police spokeswoman Chata Spikes.
The suspect was apprehended in Cobb County, just north of Atlanta, after a coordinated effort between city, county and state officials.
Woman killed in attack was a graduate of a Catholic high school
Killed in the attack was 38-year-old Amy Wald St. Pierre, who worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency said through a media spokesperson that it was “deeply saddened by the unexpected loss.”
Pierre was a 2003 graduate of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia. On its Facebook page, the school’s alumni group shared news of her passing “with a heavy heart,” asking for prayers for “the Wald and St. Pierre families … during this difficult time.”
According to police, Patterson became enraged during the visit and began shooting. His mother, who is said to be cooperating with police, was uninjured. Killed in the attack was a 39-year-old woman, with the injured victims ranging from 25 to 71 years old.
Suspect drove to Cobb County near Truist Park, Archdiocese of Atlanta’s offices
Following the shooting, Patterson stole a vehicle near the scene and fled the city. Police and other law enforcement professionals concentrated their search at sites in Cobb County near Truist Park and the Battery Atlanta, a shopping and entertainment complex located about a mile from the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s offices. According to media reports, Patterson was found hiding in a gated community, where he was apprehended by an undercover police officer.
Nichole Golden, editor of the archdiocesan newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin, told OSV News that “police presence in Cobb County” that afternoon was “heavy,” but that the archdiocesan offices were not “locked down.”
“While (law enforcement) did not officially put the (Archdiocese of Atlanta) Chancery building on lockdown, roads were blocked and closed for much of the … early afternoon in the surrounding areas, which prevented some church employees on site from being able to depart at the end of the work day,” Golden said in an email to OSV News.
Police lifted shelter-in-place orders in midtown Atlanta in the late afternoon.
Nearby Atlanta Catholic organizations sheltered in place following shooting
A staff member at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Atlanta told OSV News that parish staff were “fine,” and that they sheltered in place with “all of the doors locked” after receiving an emergency alert after the attack.
A staff member at the Georgia Tech Catholic Center declined an interview with OSV News but said that “everyone (had been) OK” at that location as well.
Golden said she had heard from the center’s chaplain, Father Branson Hipp, who told her the center, located a mile from the shooting, had been locked down for a short period in the afternoon.
Patterson was discharged from active duty in the Coast Guard in January, having entered in July 2018 and last serving as an electrician’s mate, second class, according to the Coast Guard.
Gina Christian is a national reporter for OSV News. Follow her on Twitter at @GinaJesseReina.Tags: Gun Violence