Atlanta gunman found hiding near pool after barking dogs alerted neighbours, report says

Police arrested a man suspected of shooting multiple people at an Atlanta-area hospital on 3 May, 2023.  (11Alive news screen grab)
Police arrested a man suspected of shooting multiple people at an Atlanta-area hospital on 3 May, 2023. (11Alive news screen grab)

Deion Patterson, the suspect in a shooting at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia which left one woman dead and four others wounded, was found hiding near a condo complex’s pool after dogs began barking at him, says a report.

The arrest of the 24-year-old Coast Guard veteran comes more than eight hours after he allegedly opened fire with a handgun inside a waiting room on the 11th floor of the Northside Hospital building in midtown Atlanta.

The suspect was taken into custody by law enforcement at an apartment complex in Cobb County at around 7.45pm ET after a series of sightings in the area, police said.

Deion Patterson (Atlanta Police)
Deion Patterson (Atlanta Police)

Mr Patterson had originally attended a medical appointment at the building on Wednesday at which he was accompanied by his mother, reported CNN.

Law enforcement sources told the broadcaster that Mr Patterson was unhappy with the care he was receiving from the Department for Veterans Affairs and was seeking to change it.

APD Chief Darin Schierbaum said earlier on Wednesday that the woman who died was 39, while the other four wounded women are aged 25, 39, 56 and 71.

Chief Shierbaum confirmed the arrest of the suspect at a Wednesday night press conference in Atlanta.

“The first responder network was there today for their city,” he told reporters.

He lauded his officers and firefighters for moving towards danger when they did not know where the gunman was in the wake of the shooting.

Investigators said that after shooting his first victim the suspect spent two minutes inside the building before exiting on foot and stealing a truck that was left running at a nearby Shell gas station.

Cobb County Police Chief Stewart VanHoozer, told reporters that when they found that the suspect had been identified in their jurisdiction they sent officers to hunt for the vehicle.

“These are massively complex investigations and information comes in so quickly and it is so confusing and contradicting we are trying to go three or four places where it is seemingly the suspect,” he said calling it “a chaotic scene.”

He called his officers “determined to capture an individual who would do something like this” and said that technology and cameras had provided a string of clues necessary to hunt down the suspect.

“We had checked a building we knew he had gone into and we knew he was not there, it was being built and very close to Truist Park and The Battery, which was very concerning to us as many people would have been in that location,” he added.

He said that after one particular tip call came in, an undercover officer confronted the suspect and he was arrested at the condo complex.

Earlier, heavily armed law enforcement officers rushed to 1100 West Peachtree Street Northwest, which is a Northside Hospital facility, on Wednesday lunchtime as the violence unfolded.

All of the victims were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, which is a level 1 trauma centre.

Dr Robert Jansen told reporters at a press conference that three of the victims transported to the hospital were in critical condition, with one person in surgery.

One of the patients was admitted with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and another with a wound to the arm, according to the hospital. A third critical patient was shot in the face and required an interventional radiology procedure, says CNN.

The Coast Guard said in a statement on Wednesday that the suspect “entered the Coast Guard in July 2018 and last served as an Electrician’s Mate Second Class. He was discharged from active duty in January 2023.”

During Wednesday afternoon the hunt for the suspect moved from midtown Atlanta to the suburbs of Cobb County, with a vehicle that it is believed he was in found at a car park.