Police have arrested a former U.S. Coast Guardsman suspected of killing one person and wounding four, all of them women, in a shooting on Wednesday at a medical building in Atlanta, then carjacking a vehicle to flee the scene, authorities said.
The suspected gunman, identified as Deion Patterson, 24, was taken into custody without incident after an undercover officer spotted him north of the city in suburban Cobb County several hours after the 12:30 p.m. shooting at the Northside Medical facility, police said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an emailed statement that the woman killed was one of its employees, but did not identify her. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper identified the slain woman as Amy St. Pierre, citing her husband Julian St. Pierre.
The motive for the shooting, and whether the suspect knew or targeted any of his victims, had yet to be determined, police said.
“We know that he had an appointment at the facility, but why he did what he did, all of that is under investigation,” Atlanta’s deputy police chief of criminal investigations, Charles Hampton, said at a news briefing after the arrest.
Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum told an earlier press conference that it was too early in the investigation to determine if the five women who were shot were patients or employees.
The woman who died was 39. The four wounded women ranged in age from 25 to 71, media reported. Three of them were in critical condition and underwent surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, officials said. The fourth was treated at the hospital’s emergency room.
Schierbaum described them as “fighting for their lives.”