Police release BWC footage of Atlanta shooting suspect’s arrest
"In the end, it takes police officers with a gun and a badge and a ballistic vest to go take these individuals into custody," the Cobb police chief said
By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — Within hours of a Midtown Atlanta shooting that killed one woman and injured four others, the suspect was taken into custody. A “professional, calm, safe arrest,” Cobb County police said Tuesday.
Technology helped officers find Deion Patterson, 24, who was charged with murder and aggravated assault. He remained Tuesday in the Fulton County jail, held without bond.
“The integration of cameras allowed us to send officers to a very particular place,” Capt. Darin Hull said Tuesday.
In a video released Tuesday afternoon, Patterson was shown in a grassy area with several officers shouting commands.
“Keep your hands up!” one officer said.
“Put your hands on the ground in front of you!” another said.
Moments later, Patterson was in custody, ending a day-long search that spanned two counties.
“This is the best example of community policing,” Cobb police Chief Stuart VanHoozer said.
Investigators have said cameras were crucial in locating and arresting the man accused of shooting to death Amy St. Pierre, 38, and injuring four others on May 3 in Midtown. On Tuesday, Cobb police reiterated the importance of citizens and businesses registering their cameras. At the same time, VanHoozer said his agency strives to be transparent and values the privacy of citizens.
“It is very tough to watch things happen and not be able to find the perp or stop the perpetrator. It’s a burden that we carry,” he said. “And we are looking into the technology and we do it out of concern for innocent people who are victimized. And that will never change because when the police forget that the safety of our citizens is our primary job, we are not community policing. And we are not loving our community like we really do.”
VanHoozer said the technology helps with “precision policing” so that officers know they have the right suspect in a case.
Police have said a combination of security cameras and license plate readers helped track the movements of Patterson after he allegedly “commandeered” a pickup truck and left the city. In Cobb, the Connect Cobb program allows citizens and businesses to register their cameras so that if a crime occurs in the area, those cameras may have valuable evidence.
The search for Patterson shifted to Cobb around 2 p.m. the day of the shootings, and the truck he is accused of stealing was found in a parking garage along Heritage Court near The Battery Atlanta. Tracking the suspect’s movements and having a general idea of where Patterson was greatly aided in that process, the chief said.
The shooting, at the Northside Medical Midtown building, happened inside the Laureate Medical Group shortly after noon.
Investigators believe a patient, later identified as Patterson, shot the women before leading officers on a massive manhunt. Patterson was arrested eight hours later in Cobb County
The shooting injured Lisa Glynn, Georgette Whitlow, Jazzmin Daniel and Alesha Hollinger, who range in age from 25 to 71. According to police, Glynn was shot in the abdomen, Whitlow was shot in the arm, Daniel was hit multiple times in the abdomen area and Hollinger was shot in the face. The four have since been released from Grady Memorial Hospital.
A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Patterson was discharged in January. His mother, who has declined to speak with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has said Patterson was having a “mental break” and wanted to be prescribed the anxiety medication Ativan. But his Veterans Affairs medical team declined to give it to him, fearing he could become addicted, according to reporting from The Associated Press.
But even with the technological advances, it still takes trained officers to make the arrests, VanHoozer said Tuesday.
“Technology is nothing without people,” he said. “In the end, it takes police officers with a gun and a badge and a bullet-proof vest to go take these individuals into custody.”