Deion Patterson, 24, was arrested Wednesday evening after killing one woman and injuring five at a clinic in Atlanta, stealing a truck, and leading authorities on a daylong pursuit. Patterson began shooting after accompanying his mother to a medical appointment of hers, and she said he underwent a mental breakdown there.
Authorities said Patterson shot five women on the 11th floor of a Northside Medical building. The facility is in a commercial area filled with office towers and high-rise apartments and news of the shooting prompted workers and lunchgoers to shelter in place for hours. Patterson had an appointment at the medical practice and shortly after arriving shot the first victim, law enforcement officials said at a news conference Wednesday night. The shooting lasted approximately two minutes before Patterson left the building and went to a Shell gas station and took a pickup truck that had been left running and unattended, authorities said.
Mom blamed the shootings on doctors' refusal to prescribe Patterson his preferred medication for an unspecified mental illness:
She said her son had wanted Ativan to deal with anxiety and depression but that the VA wouldn't 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 "because he listened to me in every way."
"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."