Cobb police chief credits technology and staff for capture of Atlanta shooting suspect

May 4—A suspect accused of shooting five women and killing one of them at a Midtown Atlanta medical office was captured in Cumberland Wednesday evening.

The Cobb County Police Department arrested Deion Patterson, 24, at the Waterford Place condominiums off Herodian Way.

Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said at a Wednesday night press conference that Patterson entered a Northside Hospital facility on West Peachtree Street shortly before noon.

In an 11th-floor waiting room, Patterson shot five women, police said. Patterson, who had a medical appointment, went to the building with his mother. Patterson's mother was not injured and cooperated with police to try to locate her son.

The woman who was killed was identified as 39-year-old Amy St. Pierre of Atlanta, an employee of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Patterson spent about two minutes in the medical building before leaving on foot, per Hampton. At a Shell gas station, he stole a pickup truck which had been left running unattended.

Using security footage, Atlanta police obtained the truck's license plate number and entered it into their system of license plate-reading cameras.

Around 12:30 p.m., Atlanta police received a license plate camera alert that the truck had been spotted in Cobb, Hampton said. They alerted Cobb police, who began searching for Patterson in the Cumberland, Vinings and Smyrna area.

A massive police presence descended on the area. Officers armed with long guns blocked off roads and helicopters circled.

Cobb Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer said Patterson was apprehended without incident. Cobb PD announced the capture shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Security footage obtained by Cobb police showed Patterson entering a building under construction near Truist Park Wednesday afternoon. Police searched and cleared the building but did not find him.

Patterson was eventually found at the condo complex, where an undercover officer called for backup and confronted him, police said. The suspect was then surrounded by officers and captured peacefully.

VanHoozer said staff at Cobb's real time crime center received numerous tips and reported sightings of Patterson, most of which did not pan out.

"These are massively complex investigations," VanHoozer said. "And information comes in so quickly, and it is so confusing and so contradicting, that we find that we are often trying to go three or four places very quickly, each seeming to be the suspect ... It was a fairly chaotic scene."

VanHoozer said technology played a "huge role," along with hard-working police personnel. He also praised the collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies involved in the manhunt.

The stolen pickup was recovered in a parking garage on Heritage Court in The Battery Atlanta, according to Cobb police.

Police also recovered Patterson's weapon — a handgun, per Hampton.

Patterson served five years in the U.S. Coast Guard before being discharged in January. He lived in Jonesboro until recently, according to police. He has an arrest record going back to 2015, when he was charged with possession of marijuana in Henry County.

He was arrested in Clayton in 2017 and charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and improper lane change. Those charges were dropped later in the year.

Hampton declined to discuss Patterson's mental condition, but the suspect's mother has told media outlets her son struggled with mental health problems.

Victims remain hospitalized

VanHoozer said Wednesday that, "Our prayers and thoughts are with the families that have been affected by this."

The other four women shot were identified as Lisa Glynn, Georgette Whitlow, Jazzmin Daniel and Alesha Hollinger, MDJ news partner Fox 5 reported. As of noon Thursday, three of the victims remained in intensive care, two of whom had additional procedures scheduled. The fourth victim was stable.

Fox 5 reported that Patterson was scheduled to go before a Fulton County judge Thursday morning but waived his first appearance. St. Pierre's family released a statement to media.

"Our beloved Amy was brilliant, kind, big-hearted and simply the 'best of the best,'" the statement reads. "An Emory honors graduate and Georgia State MBA, Amy traveled the world with curiosity and courage. She was driven by compassion, both in her work in the field of maternal mortality, and in her everyday life. Amy was selfless always, she wanted more for others but never for herself. Generous supporter of worthy causes, she was the social conscience of our family.

"Loving wife and mother of two, middle sister to two brothers, and cherished daughter, she was truly our pride and joy.

"Amy's friends are the best reflection of the person she was. Their outpouring of tears, love and support are beyond measure.

"She will be missed but never, ever forgotten."