One killed, four injured in Atlanta shooting

An exterior view of the Northside Hospital medical facility after a shooting on 3 May 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Police say one person was killed and four others injured in the shooting and the suspect is still at large.

One person was killed and four were injured in the southern US city of Atlanta on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire a hospital waiting room, police said.

Police named Deion Patterson, a former member of the Coast Guard, as the suspect in the shooting at the Northside Hospital, which occurred just after noon local time (1700 GMT). Patterson was still at-large as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached,” the Atlanta Police Department said on social media.

Victims ranged between the ages of 25 and 71, police said at a news conference later Wednesday afternoon. All were women, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens noted.

“We have been joined by multiple jurisdictions,” in the search for Patterson, said police chief Darin Schierbaum, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service.

Patterson had been accompanied in the hospital waiting room by his mother, who was not injured in the shooting, Schierbaum said. CNN reported he became “enraged” during a visit before opening fire.

It was too soon to know if any of the victims were targeted specifically, Schierbaum added. The family is cooperating with the investigation, he said.

Authorities also published a photo of Patterson, wearing dark pants, a hood over his head and a white surgical mask, wielding a handgun.

Television footage showed police and other law enforcement officers deployed at the scene. Multiple ambulances were also present.

The White House said President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had been briefed on the shooting. Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the president’s hands are tied on “more steps to deal with the violence that we’re seeing in our communities or schools or churches.”

“American people should be able to feel free to go into a grocery store, to go to church,” Jean-Pierre said.

There have been more than 190 mass shootings — defined as four or more people wounded or killed — so far this year in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

With more firearms than inhabitants, the United States has the highest rate of gun-related deaths of any developed country: 49,000 in 2021, up from 45,000 the year before.

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