Mayor Andre Dickens released an open letter to the city of Atlanta following a mass shooting that took place at Northside Hospital.
According to reports five were shot, and one person was killed by Deion Patterson. The fatally wounded victim was 39, and the others who were wounded were ages 71, 56, 39 and 25. All of the victims were women.
Patterson was eventually arrested in Cobb County.
“I am thankful to the women and men of the Atlanta Police Department who worked hand in hand with our partner law enforcement agencies, using all resources at our disposal — including our extensive camera network and our Phoenix Air Unit — to protect our communities while tracking down this gunman,” Dickens said. “We owe our special thanks to the Cobb County Police Department who apprehended the suspect last night.”
Dickens shared that gun violence is not just an Atlanta problem, it’s an issue that haunts the entire nation.
“One thing we already know is that an incident like this is tragically too common in America,” he said. “In 2023 alone, there have been nearly 200 reported mass shootings in our country. And this is far from the first time that Atlanta has experienced this anguish.”
He continued, “We cannot accept mass shootings as normal in our country. We know it does not have to be this way. Other nations have challenges with mental health, but they don’t have this level of gun violence that we do in America.”
Dickens called for lawmakers to do more to protect citizens in the country.
“It’s the guns,” he said. “While we respect the rights conveyed by the 2nd Amendment, we also need more actions to protect the rights of our citizens to go about their lives — to go to a doctor’s office, a supermarket, a gas station, their school — without the threat of being gunned down.”
Dickens completed his letter by saying this is a moment that should bring the city and nation together for healing.
“This is a moment for healing as a community,” Dickens said. “But it is also a moment that calls us to action. Atlanta is a group project. Just as we came together yesterday to respond to this shooting, we must now come together with resolve to each do our parts to stop these horrific events from happening again, whether here in Atlanta or anywhere in our country.”