Officials have identified the victims—one woman killed and four others injured—of a shooting at an Atlanta medical facility Wednesday.
Around noon, a man opened fire inside a waiting room at Northside Hospital on West Peachtree Street Northwest, according to the Atlanta Police Department.
Amy St. Pierre, a 38-year-old employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), died on the spot. She was married with two children.
“Amy was a valued member of our team at the Division of Reproductive Health where she worked every day to save the lives of mothers and infants,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a Senate Health Committee hearing Thursday. “Our hearts are with her, her family, friends, and our colleagues as they remember her and grieve this tragic loss.”
Four other women, aged 25, 39, 56, and 71, were injured and rushed to Grady Hospital.
Three of them were in critical condition, according to the hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Robert Jansen. Two of them had to undergo surgery.
The fourth victim is reported to be doing well.
In the arrest warrants for the suspect, the four women were identified as Jazzmin Daniel, Lisa Glynn, Alesha Hollinger, and Georgette Whitlow.
Police identified the suspected shooter as 24-year-old Deion Patterson. After the shooting, he stole an unattended pickup truck at a gas station and fled the area, authorities said.
After several hours, Patterson was captured in Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta, in a combined effort from several law enforcement agencies.
He has been charged with one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault.
The circumstances that led to the shooting are unclear. Patterson had an appointment at a Northside Hospital and opened fire shortly after arriving, police said at a news conference Wednesday night.
Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. disclosed no further details of the investigation and made no mention of a possible motive. “Why he did what he did, all of that is still under investigation,” he said.
Patterson’s mother, Minyone Patterson, who police said had accompanied her son to the medical office, told The Associated Press by phone that her son, a former Coast Guardsman, had “some mental instability going on” from medication that he began taking the previous Friday.
She said her son had wanted Ativan to deal with anxiety and depression but that the Veterans Affairs health system wouldn’t give it to him because they considered the drug too addictive. She told them that she was a nurse herself, and tried to assure them that her son would only take the proper dosage.
In a statement, Veterans Affairs stated that “due to patient privacy, we cannot discuss the Veteran’s personal information without written consent.”
In a statement, the U.S. Coast Guard said Patterson had joined the service in 2018 and worked his way up to an Electrician’s Mate Second Class. In January of this year, he was discharged from active duty. The Coast Guard did not provide any details on the reasons for discharging Patterson.
“The Coast Guard is aware of the tragic incident in Atlanta allegedly involving Mr. Deion Patterson,” the public affairs office said. “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.”