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Atlanta shooting suspect has been charged with murder

This booking photo provided by Fulton County Sheriff’s Office shows Deion Patterson following his arrest in connection with a mass shooting in Atlanta, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, that left one woman dead and four others wounded. Patterson has been charged with one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault, Fulton County Jail records show. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — The suspect in a mass shooting in Atlanta that left one woman dead and four others wounded has been charged with one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault, Fulton County Jail records show.

Deion Patterson waived his first court appearance Thursday after police say he opened fire in the waiting room of an Atlanta medical practice Wednesday. Workers and others in a bustling commercial district took shelter for hours during the manhunt.

Authorities swarmed the city’s midtown neighborhood shortly after noon in search of the shooter. Patterson, 24, was captured in Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Patterson.

Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. declined to discuss any details of the investigation or a possible motive, saying, “Why he did what he did, all of that is still under investigation.”

Patterson had an appointment at a Northside Medical building and opened fire shortly after arriving in an attack that lasted about two minutes, law enforcement officials said at a news conference Wednesday night.

Patterson then went to a Shell gas station and took a pickup truck that had been left running and unattended, authorities said.

A 39-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said.

The Fulton County medical examiner’s office identified her as Amy St. Pierre. St. Pierre worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency confirmed.

The CDC “is deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of a colleague killed today in the Midtown Atlanta shooting,” spokesperson Benjamin Haynes said in a statement. “Our hearts are with her family, friends, and colleagues as they remember her and grieve this tragic loss.”

St. Pierre has done research aimed at reducing pregnancy-related deaths, according to a 2021 research report she co-authored. That research involved a CDC program called “Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Eliminate Maternal Mortality.” A key aim of the initiative is to work toward “the elimination of preventable maternal mortality in the United States.”

Patterson used a semi-automatic handgun to shoot St. Pierre, according to arrest warrants released Thursday. He also shot Alesha Hollinger in the face, and fired multiple shots into the abdomen area of Jazzmin Daniel, the documents state. Another woman, Lisa Glynn, was shot in her abdomen area; and Georgette Whitow was shot in the arm, the records show.

The four wounded women — aged 25, 39, 56 and 71 — remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday night, according to Hampton, the deputy chief.

The shooting comes as cities around the U.S. have been wracked by gun violence and mass shootings in 2023.

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 Friday.

She said her son had wanted Ativan to deal with anxiety and depression but the Veterans Affairs health system would not give it to him because they said it would be “too addicting.” She’s a nurse and said she told them he would only have taken the proper dosage.

“Those families, those families,” she said, starting to sob. “They’re hurting because they wouldn’t give my son his damn Ativan. Those families lost their loved ones because he had a mental break because they wouldn’t listen to me.”

She ended the call without saying what medication her son had been taking.