Mother reveals why suspected Atlanta mass shooter was upset before gunfire

ATLANTA — The mother of the man accused of shooting five people in midtown Atlanta said he was angry that doctors wouldn’t give him Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug.

Deion Patterson, 24, is accused of opening fire in the waiting room of a Northside Hospital medical office, killing one woman and wounding four others.

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Channel 2′s Sophia Choi spoke to Patterson’s mother off-camera after the shooting. She told Choi that doctors would not give her son the tranquilizer, which treats anxiety but can also be addictive.

Channel 2 Action News learned that Patterson was a Coast Guardsman but had been discharged in January. It’s unclear why he was released.

Shawn Hoover, a senior attorney at the Public Defender Council who is representing Patterson, issued a statement Thursday, saying that his client is a veteran and suffers from apparent mental health issues.

“My team is investigating the details and circumstances of the charges to provide him with zealous, effective, and timely representation,” Hoover said. “While I cannot comment further at this time, I will be working tirelessly on Mr. Patterson’s behalf toward a resolution. Thank you.”

Police said Patterson was only in the medical office for two minutes before he opened fire.


Surveillance video from nearby businesses showed Patterson running from the medical office.

Police said Patterson ran from the medical office after the shooting and stole a truck that was running and empty at a nearby Shell station.

The truck was found at a parking garage by the Battery Atlanta in Cobb County. After he hid in a pool house at a Cobb County apartment complex, Patterson was arrested hours later. The video shows him surrender to officers before being handcuffed.

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The woman who was killed has been identified as 39-year-old Amy St. Pierre, who was employed at the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

The other four victims, three of whom remain in critical condition, have not been identified.

Patterson has been charged with one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault.

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