During a court hearing on Thursday, a judge denied bail for a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard who is accused of shooting a woman to death and injuring four other people in a medical building in Atlanta. The man waived his right to appear in court.
Deion Patterson, a 24-year-old man accused of being the shooter, was supposed to appear before Fulton County Magistrate Judge Holly Hughes through a video hookup from jail. Hughes rejected bail and ordered him held on one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault while he was away, according to her clerk.
The suspect is accused of opening fire in the Northside Medical facility in the city’s busy Midtown area at about 12:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday. He then fled on foot and headed to a nearby gasoline station, where he commandeered a pickup truck that had been left running unattended and drove away.
He was taken into custody eight hours later without incident after an undercover officer spotted him north of the city in suburban Cobb County, police said.
The woman killed in the shooting was 39-year-old Amy St. Pierre, an employee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency said.
The four wounded women ranged in age from 25 to 71. Three of them were in critical condition and underwent surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, officials said on Wednesday. The fourth was treated at the hospital’s emergency room.
Patterson had an appointment at the facility but the motive for the shooting and whether the suspect knew or specifically targeted any of his victims had yet to be determined, police said.
The mother of the suspect said he was upset that doctors would not refill for him a prescription for Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug, a local ABC affiliate reported.
The gunman arrived at the medical center with his mother but she was not injured, police said, noting that she and other family members were cooperating with investigators.
Little was immediately known about the suspect’s background.
Patterson joined the U.S. Coast Guard in July 2018 and was discharged from active duty in January, after having last served as an electrician’s mate second class.