Police in Georgia have arrested the alleged gunman accused of killing one person and injuring at least four others at a hospital in Atlanta. Deion Patterson, 24, was arrested in Cobb County, Georgia, shortly before 8 pm on Wednesday, ending a seven-hour-long manhunt, authorities said.
Police launched a desperate manhunt for Patterson after he allegedly opened fire inside Northside Hospital in Atlanta at around noon on Wednesday. The suspect allegedly became agitated before opening fire inside the hospital. According to officials, he was visiting the hospital with his mother, who eventually helped police to track down Patterson and arrest him.
Furious Before Shooting
Police claim that Patterson, allegedly opened fire in a waiting area of Northside Hospital Medical Midtown at 12:08 pm, killing a woman, 39. According to the authorities, Patterson stole a car, which was subsequently found in suburban Cobb County, north of the city, and escaped from the hospital's 11th floor in the busy Midtown commercial and residential zone.
The mother of the alleged shooter claims her son was given "messed up medication," following which he opened fire.
Minyone Patterson appeared to blame his medication regimen for the shooting. "The damn VA gave him some messed up medication, and all he wanted was an Ativan," Minyone told The Daily Beast, referring to the medication used to treat seizure disorders such as epilepsy.
She hung up without saying anything further.
Police started a manhunt just after Patterson fled the scene on the 11th floor of the hospital, where he had already shot dead a woman and injured three others. He then went to a Shell gas station, entered the parking lot, and stole a pickup truck that was still running.
Atlanta police used the department's license plate scanner system to locate the car. They phoned the local police after they noticed the vehicle entering Cobb County at 12:30 pm.
Patterson later abandoned the truck in a parking garage close to The Battery and Truist Park around 2:30 pm, as the search grew more active in the area.
He was eventually spotted by an undercover officer who confronted Patterson, backed up by uniformed officers, police said.
Patterson was arrested "without incident" just before 8 pm at a condominium complex in suburban Cobb County outside of the city following a frantic, multi-agency search, Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHooze informed reporters.
Police also recovered a handgun. However, they didn't say if it was legally owned.
"It does not work without a cooperative community," said Stuart VanHoozer, chief of Cobb County police. "Hats off to everyone who was involved in this and all of the technological foundation that was laid."
The Coast Guard identified Patterson as a guardsman who joined in 2018 and was released from active duty in January 2023 after serving as an Electrician's Mate second class.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. The Coast Guard Investigative Service is working closely with the Atlanta Police Department and local authorities in the investigation," the Coast Guard said in a statement.
"Mr. Patterson entered the Coast Guard in July 2018 and last served as an Electrician's Mate Second Class."
Following his arrest, the mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens, said: "This was a horrifying act of gun violence." The fact that this is not an isolated incident in the nation is equally alarming.
"We have a national epidemic of gun violence," said Dickens. 'We have a mental health crisis. But it doesn't have to be this way. We need immediate action that meets the scale of this crisis."
He lauded the medical and police personnel.
Local television station 11 Alive aired footage of Patterson being led in handcuffs to an Atlanta police car shortly after his arrest at a condominium complex. According to the station, he was transferred from Cobb County to Atlanta for interrogation.
Hospital officials said, three of the injured victims underwent surgery. One was shot in the arm, one in the face, and another in the belly.
The fourth patient is still in the trauma unit. Four more women, ages 71, 56, 39, and 26 were injured in the shooting in the hospital waiting area on the 11th floor along with a 39-year-old victim.
Patterson allegedly got "enraged" in the lobby, according to Patterson's mother.