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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Manhunt Underway For Atlanta Mass Shooting Suspect' Atlanta Shooting Suspect Is Former Member Of The U.S. Coast Guard. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired May 03, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
And we are going to continue our breaking news coverage. Just moments ago, we got an update from Atlanta police about the manhunt underway for the man accused of a deadly mass shooting at a medical center.
Police say that 24-year-old Deion Patterson should be considered armed and dangerous.
A source says Patterson was at the building for an appointment when he became agitated. The Atlanta police chief says Patterson started shooting in the waiting room. At least one person has been killed, four others injured, all of the victims women.
Within the last hour, Atlanta police lifted the shelter in place order for the areas around the medical center. Police say they believe Patterson carjacked a vehicle near the scene of the shooting, as police were responding. Investigators say they have since found that car, but Patterson was not in it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ANDRE DICKENS, ATLANTA: We are dealing with someone that is armed and dangerous. This is a deadly situation, this individual has just indeed conducted an act that we want to make sure that you know, that if you see him, do not approach, but you are to call 911.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: CNN's Ryan Young is live for us now near the crime scene in Midtown Atlanta.
Ryan, tell us what we know about the suspect, who remains on the run?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake, that's what's been confirmed to us at this point, that he is still on the run, after that carjacking. We've been able to move closer to the scene at this point, this is the hospital complex that the shooting happened. You can still see an active scene with the officers in the front. But that's where the lobby is, and we believe that Mr. Patterson showed up here with his mother, who is concerned about him, apparently, he's a former service member, and it's in that lobby where the shooting occurred.
And, of course, so many people were fearful, or actually talk to folks who are in there with the nurses who were crying, unfortunately, someone lost their life. They started shutting down this entire area, you can see that building right here, where that parking garage is, they just started leading some of the people who've been in this building for hours out of that parking garage. But here, they set the scene up, they're trying to see the entire area was locked down. Now, they believe that carjacking happened and he ended up in Cobb County, which is about ten minutes away from here. They've recovered the car, but they don't know where he is just yet.
This is an active manhunt situation, where they're trying to track this man down, if you think about it, they were using the video cameras in this area to put out those surveillance pictures of him as he left a lobby. So, you saw that hoodie, you also saw that canvas bag that was across his chest.
Since then, they've improved the picture that they put forward with that license picture, so people can see his face. There have been people who they thought were Mr. Patterson, who they've actually pulled over, and they haven't been. Now, the 911 calls have been pretty coming in at a steady pace.
They want to make sure they also have crime stoppers number up, so it's a $10,000 reward that they're hoping that will help people make that phone call in the situation. But, look, this is an active manhunt, Jake, they're still looking for the suspect who is believed to have shot all these people inside this facility right here, that is everyone shaken.
TAPPER: Ryan, we have the update on the woman who was killed, or the other four women who were transported to Grady Hospital?
YOUNG: Yeah. So, that is a level one trauma center, I believe there are some family members who have shown up to that Grady Hospital, getting the worst news they could possibly get. We have also been told, at some point, the mayor's office is going to reach out to those victims. But no one has been able to sort of, even the nurses here, some of them have not been able to leave this facility to check on their loved ones, their friends who have been shot.
So, that's the part that we're still trying to put together, Jake. There are people who came to a facility for medical help today, who were clearly not ready for a shooting to happen in a lobby with a man who as been told, that a mother was concerned about. And they were working the situation, trying to get him some help. Unfortunately, it went sideways -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Ryan Young in Atlanta for us, thank you. We'll come back to you, as soon as you have more to report.
Let's bring in now, CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller, CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, and the former deputy FBI director, Andrew McCabe.
Andrew McCabe, let me start with you.
Atlanta police say they believe the suspect carjacked a vehicle after the shooting. They have since found the car, the suspect was not with it. What are the biggest challenges for police right now?
And how are they going to catch him? I guess itself would be the easiest way to track him down, assuming, he still has one on him.
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yeah. So, Jake, unfortunately, we've all had a lot of practice in learning about this over the last few weeks, tracking the issue in Texas. So, you'll see the port of a good investigative activity here now. This turns from a clearing operation, inside of a building, into a full blown man hunt.
So, the question is, how do you track this individual? Does he have -- does he use social media? Does he have a cell phone that he might be carrying? Has he communicated to family members or friends or associates, in an effort to secure additional transportation or support or shelter?
Those are all the kind of nodes of investigative leads that the investigators will be looking into, and really, picking up over the next couple of hours, to try to get back on the tail of this person as he flees the scene.
TAPPER: Juliette, it appears the suspect had a gun on him, at the same time, he carjacked a vehicle after the shooting. So, what's your assessment as to whether this was impulsive or preplanned?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah. Well, I think, based on his experience, that he intended to do something with a gun. We don't know what it was. Maybe it was suicide, he brings it to a facility where he is going to be the patient.
He's an adult male who's going with his mother. We don't know what kind of duress he was under. We don't know how voluntary this is. The parents seem very engaged in concerned about his mental health.
So, that would mean that he probably does not have as sophisticated exit strategy at the stage and is either trying to hijack cars or just get out of the way of where the police are. These often end in suicide by the perpetrator who finds himself with no options, obviously. And the best-case scenario is that he is caught without any additional violence to others and to himself.
TAPPER: John, we heard Atlanta police mention a number of different police departments and agencies involved in the search. How do you get so many people on the same page when a situation is rapidly changing like this?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, that's the mutual aid package that a city like Atlanta is used to. I mean, Atlanta PD is about authorized strength is about 2,000 cops. They may be a little short of that if they're like most police departments. But they've got a system from the county sheriff, from the Georgia state police, from GPI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
And they all come together during a major incident, along with FBI, ATF and Homeland Security investigations. You know, this is a police department that has been trained in active shooter tactics. They work with the alert training, going back to 2016, which is the forming of contact teams with the first immediate responders going into meat threat.
From all reports we've heard so far, it sounds like that's what they did today. This shooting happened in a very short space of time. And the suspect fled within that time, as police were just arriving. They set up that parameter to try to contain him, and it appears, although this is still very fluid and information is preliminary, that he may have gotten away through this carjacking.
We have one report of a carjack auto that was recovered in Cobb County, another report of an attempted carjacking, it's possible, he may have tried it once before he successfully was able to get a car to get away in. Atlanta has also trained civilians in active shooter. In other words, if you're caught in that situation, what to do.
A lot of private corporations, banks, companies headquarters there, have been trained in what they call avoid, delay, defend, which is a version of run, hide and fight that we see in that training. They do have the 3,000 cameras, across the cities, a large concentration of those in that downtown area, which they have been actively using to try and retrace the suspects steps from the time he left that location to get them a trail to where he's headed.
If you look at, Jake, the possible outcomes here, and you use last year as a measure against active shooter situations, there were 50 active shooter situations in 2022, 313 casualties, 100 of those died. If you look at the outcomes with the shooter, nine killed themselves, seven were killed in confrontations with police, two by armed citizens who intervened before police got there.
But 29, and this is the larger number, compared that 18, 29 were apprehended either overpowered by police or after a dialogue with police were able to surrender. So, the odds are in the favor of police and the suspect that if they can engage in a dialogue, that they should be able to get him to surrender.
His mother is still cooperating with police, she may be a voice in that dialogue, if they get a chance to get him contained somewhere and start talking.
TAPPER: Yeah, we just saw with a big manhunt in Texas where that shooter, that alleged shooter, was apprehended.
Everybody standby, I want to bring in Josh McLaurin. He's a state senator from North Fulton, Georgia. Senator McLaurin, earlier today, you were one of the presumably thousands of Atlantans forced to shelter in place. When you are doing that, were you getting information in real-time? Were you afraid, tell us what that was like?
JOSH MCLAURIN (D), GEORGIA STATE SENATE: Hi, sure, yeah, I was at the restaurant directly next door to the building, where my primary care doctor is also. In the middle of launch, I just start hearing people say, hey, where a lockdown, there's an active shooter next door, which I had never been that close to an active shooter situation before.
So, you know, we locked all the doors. Police came through. We're getting a little bit of information. The main message they had for us, you have to stay here, we're not letting anybody out, in or out.
And, occasionally, over the next two or three hours, we got updates over what was happening. We had to go to Twitter and local news, try to get a sense of what the story was.
TAPPER: So, you were inside the restaurant, you basically stayed inside the restaurant?
MCLAURIN: That's correct. I mean, you know, we went upstairs for a little bit, a couple people stayed seated, continue to have their meal and tried to stay normal, stay calm. But I mean, the thing I was overwhelmed by today is just -- this is how people are expected to live now.
I mean, you can just go out to lunch, go to the doctor's office, or go to daycare, which is nearby, and drop your kid off, and you got a lockdown that lasts most of the day , and be covered with this fear and uncertainty about what's happening to your loved ones.
TAPPER: Yeah, this is now the state of the news as well, where we come on air and we have to cover mass shootings and suspects on the lam as a regular matter of course. This is the second high-profile one in the last week. You're now out of the restaurant, out of the shelter in place, the threats obviously not over, the suspect remains on the run.
Are you hearing anything more about the danger that he may still pose? Are you hearing anything more about the victims?
MCLAURIN: Yeah, you know, I know that one victim tragically is deceased. Several in critical condition from Grady press conference I saw earlier, Grady Hospital, a level one trauma center nearby. Heard rumors about things happening on north side drive, a reported gunfire, maybe carjacking, there's rumors about that.
But, yeah, I mean, the information is really hard to get, hard to get reliable information. You know, even just now in the last hour or so, people started coming out of their shelters in place around all the workplaces around here, including the restaurant I was at. But, yeah, I don't think anybody feels safe. I think that it's just going to be a cloud that covers this area for the rest of the day at least. TAPPER: What are you telling family and friends to do, I'm sure
you're getting a lot of calls, your state senator, people want to look to you and Governor Kemp isn't out there, the mayor of Atlanta out there saying what people should be doing? They want to hear from somebody and leadership, what's your advice?
MCLAURIN: Sure, I mean, there's all the normal advice at a time of crisis, make sure you stay safe, check on your loved ones. Have a plan.
You know, obviously, north side had protocols in place, Grady has protocols in place. People are looking to us for legislative response. There's all this talk of the last few years about politicization of crime.
Look, I'm not happy to be here, out of like to go home after a nice lunch. None of this happened. If it's going to happen, we're going to talk about it.
And I think the thing we need to talk about, red flag legislation and mental health in this country. It's enough to just vote dollars to mental health, we have to understand that weapons, I mean, today with a pistol, some people of access to AR-15s another more serious weapons, people in the state of mental health crisis simply should not have access to those weapons.
I think of strong majorities of Georgians and Americans who agree with that. Regardless of which parties in control of the state capital, they want to see that action. We need to pick our heads up to the sand as a state, and we need to do something about this at the legislative level.
TAPPER: All right. Josh McLaurin, state senator from Georgia, thank you so much for your time. We're glad you're okay, sir.
MCLAURIN: Thank you. Appreciate your concern.
TAPPER: We're following the breaking news, a manhunt in Atlanta, police looking for the man who shot five people in Midtown Atlanta, one of them is now dead, four of the victims went to Grady Hospital.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta works at a neighboring hospital in Atlanta. We're going to talk to him next.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: We are back with our breaking news coverage, a manhunt underway in Atlanta, Georgia, after a mass shooting at a medical center. Police say they believe the 24-year-old suspect carjacked a vehicle after shooting five people in the waiting room, killing one of them. At least three of the other victims are in critical condition, we're told. Tyrisia Woods works inside the building where the shooting happened.
This is what she told CNN about how she saw everything unfold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TYRISIA WOODS, INSIDE MEDICAL FACILITY WHERE SHOTS WERE FIRED (via telephone): I alerted my front office staff that someone was shooting and right after that, one of our team members was alerted by another person in a building that there was blood in the elevator on our floor. As far as the building security goes, I don't think that it's safe. We have active shooters in Midtown so often, our buildings are locked down a lot because there are no metal detectors.
Our security are just that, security. We don't have real police officers guarding and protecting our facility. And with this being an ongoing thing in Midtown at all times, I feel unsafe working, you know, in that area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Let's bring in CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's in addition to our medical man. He's the associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Hospital, right nearby.
Sanjay, what are you hearing about those patients, the four women that were transferred to the other hospital. They're being treated where you work.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I know. I've been talking to people in the hospital, these are colleagues, and we deal with this all the time.
I can tell you, though, so there's four patients that you mentioned. One patient who was shot in the abdomen, Jake, and is still in the -- the other patient was shot in the arm, and still in the operating room. Another patient was shot in the face, and required procedures using what is known as intervention all radiology, basically, concerns about bleeding from blood vessels, that bleeding has been addressed using these radiology techniques, catheters into the blood vessels and stopping the bleeding. The fourth patient is stable.
But, you know, these patients that are still in the operating room, they are considered in critical condition, meaning, they have been eating medications to maintain their blood pressure, so, it's pretty touch and go still far at least a couple of these patients, Jake.
TAPPER: And the sad state of medical care in the United States today, a lot of doctors and emergency rooms and a lot of surgeons now have to be expert in battle wounds as if they were medics or physicians assistance in Iraq or Afghanistan ten years ago.
GUPTA: It is really remarkable, Jake, I've been a surgeon now for over 20 years, 25 years. And the types of injuries that we see have totally changed. As you're alluding to, I can also tell you, we look at these numbers, I want to give you some context, at Grady Hospital in the year 2022, we had 1,215 patients come into our hospital with gunshot wounds, more than 100 a month coming into the hospital.
So, this is atrocious, sad situation, it is a very common situation as well, I was just listening to that nor nurse that you had talking right before me, at Northside, where this happened, there aren't metal detectors over there.
Since October of last year, Jake, we have metal detectors at every entrance at Grady hospital because there's such significant and heightened concerns about the hospital itself becoming the location where the shootings take place. So, you know, obviously, they're prepared to take care of mask casualty incidents at a place like Grady. It's a level one trauma center, they have operating rooms on standby, they have blood on standby. Obviously, the personnel, the nurses, the trauma surgeons on standby. They would've been ready, they were preparing, as you heard, to take care of 12 patients, potentially.
That was the initial thing that we had all heard. It's fewer than that, thankfully. Still, what you're seeing unfold, in terms of the medical care, is sadly just too common an occurrence there.
TAPPER: We've heard the argument for people who are on the more guns is a safer community argument that relaxing gun ownership rules, relaxing gun requirements, in terms of training and the like, will actually result in a safer society. Georgia is a pretty red state when it comes to gun laws.
Have you seen, anecdotally, I don't know about you might have your fingertips, I'm just surprising you this question, is there any evidence that more guns out there is making Georgia safer?
GUPTA: I don't -- you know, I don't have the data, but I can tell you this, the number of these types of injuries, penetrating injuries, the vast majority of penetrating injuries are gunshot wounds, the numbers have just continued to go up. That we can say.
So, if you look at that as a metric alone, more guns out there, what do we see from a medical personnel? We see more gunshot wounds. And we see more devastating gunshot wounds.
I mean, my understanding here, from what I'm hearing from these reports, this was a handgun that was used today. When you start to look at these assault rifles, the types of injuries that you're seeing, if patients even can make it to the hospital without dying first, they're far more significant. So, the number of injuries in the severity of those injuries has got up, Jake.
It does fluctuated your little, bit year to year, it's not always a straight line, but 1,215 gunshot wounds to one hospital last year, that's 100 a month. It's more than three a day on average that we're seeing, and that's a number that has no signs of abating right now.
TAPPER: Yeah, and it is a policy choice that people are making. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much. This just in, the U.S. Coast Guard now confirming that the suspect
into the shooting served in the Coast Guard for nearly five years.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon for us.
Oren, what else are you hearing from the U.S. Coast Guard today?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we're learning just a little bit more here about the background of Deion Patterson. As you said, we have a statement from the Coast Guard a short time ago, that statement tells us that Patterson joined the Coast Guard in July 2018. He was there until he was discharged in January 2023, so he was in the Coast Guard for about four and a half years. He was discharged as an electricians mate second class, again, January 2023. So, only four months ago, at this point.
The Coast Guard also says, their investigative services working with Atlanta police department and local police as part of the investigation. The coast guard goes on to say, our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families.
Jake, we have asked for more information, where Patterson had been deployed as part of the Coast Guard, where you been station, we'll see if we can get that information to you.
TAPPER: All right. Oren, thank you so much.
We're going to continue to monitor this tragedy in Atlanta, deadly mass shooting, and a manhunt, right now, underway. We're going to talk to the former Atlanta police chief. That's next.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: And we're back with our breaking news coverage. Police are stepping up patrols in the northern Atlanta, Georgia, suburbs, as the manhunt for a mass shooting suspect expands. Police say 24-year-old Deion Patterson killed one person, and injured four others at a medical center waiting room earlier today.
Investigators believe he then stole a car near the scene in the moments after the shooting. Police have since found that car, Patterson was not inside.
With us now former Atlanta police chief, Erika Shields.
Chief Shields, just so our viewers understand, this is a vast search in an area, in terms of size, in terms of population. Are you hearing anything from officials involved in this massive manhunt? And describe how much this entails to find this individual? ERIKA SHIELDS, FORMER ATLANTA POLICE CHIEF: So, the officers
responded really quickly, and they did -- they managed to follow him on those cameras for quite a distance. I think they recovered the car now in the area of Brave Stadium, which is a suburb of Cobb County, in the city. So, it's a huge expanse of land mass, the good news is, the Braves are out of town tonight.
It's a lot of territory. You're talking miles and miles. The good news is, there's very strong working relationship between agencies, communication has to be seamless.
TAPPER: The shooting happened on -- in a medical building. The suspect was able to get back to the streets of Midtown, allegedly, carjacked a vehicle in broad daylight. And now, no one knows exactly where he may be.
How is the security in this area in general? And what would you advise anybody in that general area to do right now?
SHIELDS: So, the area that we're speaking of has really become very robust with restaurants, shopping, residential condominiums in the last few years, since the Atlanta Braves moved out there. So, I would say, out of an abundance of caution, I would be sheltering in place, if possible.
The difficulty is getting people to sit upright and realize really they don't know where this person is. And you just -- you just cannot assume that he's not showing up your back door. I don't mean that as a fear factor, you just have to be practical about this, the police will get him. But it until they do, you just don't know what this event is going to do. They're obviously in a very bad place mentally.
TAPPER: Atlanta police mentioned a network of cameras that could be used to help track on the suspect. Tell us more about how these cameras might work, how they might be used in this very fluid manhunt situation.
SHIELDS: So, the cameras within the downtown area are really -- it's a very robust system, which is how they were able to follow him and see him steal a car, and leave the facility and steal a car. You can track the license plate, so that can help you recover the car.
But right now, the problem is, is he on foot or has taken another vehicle? So, they're just doing what any of us would be doing right now, that is trying to go through building by building, rely on tips that they received from the public, which is huge. But it's a very methodical process.
You have to do this with an abundance of caution. You just don't know when you're going to possibly bump into him. The city went through something horrible years ago, with Brian Nichols, a courthouse shooter, and people just really -- they let down their guard, including the police, and the consequences were tragic. He was right within a residential area.
TAPPER: It's 4:33, approaching 4:34 p.m., East Coast time, in Atlanta. Essentially, rush hour for the whole area. Are you concerned for residents, more people are going to be heading out, heading home, heading on the roads, I'm not necessarily saying that anybody is heading into danger, but theoretically, somebody could be.
SHIELDS: I think that it's -- you know, they're going to -- there are an abundance of officers. I'm sure the police will be shutting down streets where they feel that there is potential for this individual to be. I think the greatest issue we're going to see is traffic tie-ups.
But for the most part I think the fact that the officers seem to have a fairly good idea where the individual may be should provide a level of layer of security in the appropriate areas, hopefully.
TAPPER: All right. Former Atlanta police chief, Erika Shields, thank you so much.
Let's bring back our law enforcement analyst, Juliette Kayyem.
We just heard the news from Oren Liebermann that the suspect was a member, a former member, of the U.S. Coast Guard.
That does presume that he has some military training, some experience with firearms. Is that relevant to the manhunt and into the investigation?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah, it absolutely would be. I mean, he was -- a couple things here. The Coast Guard is a long enforcement agency, as much as it is a military component. So, we'll have the additional training, it does maritime extradition, his exact title may sound complicated, it's essentially someone who watches the wires and the data and the operations from a ship. So, he's a guard man who is looking at where our, we where are we navigating to? It does not appear that when he was discharged that that had anything to do with sort of weaponry.
The DHS, the agency overseeing the coast guard, would have told us if he was honorably discharged, they just say discharge. That could be for a number of reasons, which sometimes involves mental and physical -- not satisfying medical physical standards, failure to adjust to orders or new placements, and then fraudulent behavior or enlistments. Because he wasn't close to five years, they are monitoring, it's like you just showed up. They're monitoring his behavior, and then trying to minimize whatever is happening, and then ultimately, determine that he needs to be discharged.
One final thing, this discharge just happened in January. So, this is a period in which his parents are also noting his stress or whatever has happened. So, it's a very compressed time period in terms of what's going on for him.
TAPPER: Yeah, and we'll find out more, no doubt, about his separation from the U.S. Coast Guard and why that happened and under what conditions, quite often individuals who are experiencing problems, and I know nothing about this specific case, but quite often, the military just shows them the door, and that all that is done.
Andrew McCabe, how is this investigation changing as the day goes on? As we get further and further away from the last known location of the suspect?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Jake, it's becoming more of a traditional man hunt at this point. You can pretty confidently assume that this suspect is not someone who went into the situation with the resources and the forethought of that somebody would put into a plan that would escape or planning some kind of long- term period, evading law enforcement. This is something that happened in the heat of the moment. Now, he finds himself fleeing from law enforcement.
So, under those circumstances, it's always, the vast majority of cases, offenders gravitate towards people they know, people in their circle. Whether that family members, friends, colleagues, extended family members. To seek shelter, places to hide, transportation, things like that. So, that's the first thing that law enforcement is doing right now, trying to define that universe of friends, family, associates this person might rely on. Those people are all being contacted, they're being interviewed, people who are particularly likely assessed as being likely to help or probably under some sort of surveillance at this point.
And then, of course, they're looking at the technical means. There is the cell phone, or credit cards, or things like that, they'll be tracking those devices as they interact with our communication systems.
TAPPER: Andrew McCabe and Juliette Kayyem, stick around. We're going to come back to you. We're going to go back live to Atlanta, next, where that manhunt remains underway.
What are we learning now about the lockdowns and what are we learning about the main police say is responsible for this tragedy? That's next.
TAPPER: We're back with our breaking news coverage. The manhunt for a mass shooting suspect in Atlanta, Georgia, continues.
The Atlanta police chief said they have had minimal contact in the past with a suspect in the shooting, 24-year-old Deion Patterson. Police say Patterson was at a medical center with his mother for the point this morning when he started shooting in the waiting room. Investigators say other families are cooperating with their investigation.
Let's bring in CNN's Nick Valencia. He's on the ground in Atlanta for us.
Nick, what is the latest near the scene of the crime? NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, the police have softened this
perimeter and allowed us to get closer to where the shooting incident happened. You can see that facility right behind me, with no less than a half a dozen Atlanta police officers still standing guard outside that facility. They're joined by dozens of Atlanta police officers including unmarked cars.
We mentioned the perimeter has softened, it was earlier, around an hour and a half ago, that they lifted the shelter in place order here. But almost minutes after that, there was a chaotic scene, that we want to show you, that we captured video of to speak just how amped up the situation is here.
We mentioned that shelter in place was lifted, just minutes afterwards, we heard what appeared to sound like gunshots, and then we saw Atlanta police officers in heavy tactical gear sprinting towards their cars, carrying long guns and shotguns. We also saw another SWAT vehicles show up and crime scene tape go back up.
We asked the Atlanta police department, what happened? They said, the incident was actually an Atlanta police officer that was involved in the colleagues were responding to that. It was a overwhelming response for that to be the case, speaks to how tense things are, there have been multiple sightings of this 24-year-old suspect, Deion Patterson, in and around the Atlanta area, in the suburbs of Cobb County, about 30 minutes outside the city center. They are actively involved in searching for the suspect, who still very much on the loose, considered armed and dangerous.
Back here in Atlanta, I mentioned that perimeter has softened, still, very much an active scene as police work to get answers behind the motive of the shooting -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Nick Valencia, thank you so much.
We just learned, we expect a news conference to begin in just a few minutes about those four victims in the Atlanta shooting who were taken to the hospital. Of course, there was a fifth victim who was killed on the scene of the crime. We will bring that to you as soon as it begins. We're going to sneak in a quick break. We'll be right back in a second.
TAPPER: And we're back with our breaking news. In just minutes, we're expecting an update from hospital officials after the mass shooting in Atlanta yesterday. Four people were injured.
Three of those four remain in critical condition. One of the victims was killed, the fifth victim. We're going to bring that press conference for you live when it comes.
While we wait for that update, I want to bring up CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller.
John, police say that the suspect's family is cooperating with police. What kind of questions would be asked of them?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they're going to try to learn as much about Deion Patterson as possible. They brought him in for an evaluation to this clinic today. What was the basis of that evaluation? What were the things that were bothering him? You know, what does -- what does he suffer from in terms of anxiety, paranoia, and so on?
I think a part of the tell there is he showed up wearing a satchel across the front of his hoodie that contained a semiautomatic pistol. What else is in that satchel, we don't know. In the past, with active shooters we have seen either an additional weapon or additional ammunition.
And, you know, this is not like tracking the normal criminal manhunt. Yes, the tools and the techniques are the same. But at the end, when police -- if and when police confronted this subject, they have the uphill battle of dealing with someone who is already emotionally overwrought, in all likelihood, may already be paranoid to some degree, and to that degree, if he thought people were after him before, that is actually a fact of his life right now because he is a suspect in a multiple shooting a homicide case.
So, if they are able to find him and slow things down and contain him, that is the kind of thing where a trained hostage negotiator who has a background in having a conversation where they can talk somebody down from high tensions, do some active listening, run the clock and spend some time, is probably the ideal situation so that this doesn't turn into a second shooting incident. And Atlanta PD has very experienced people, both on their SWAT team and on their hostage negotiating team.
One other aspect to look at here is, about Georgia and guns. Georgia is a state where, anyone who lawfully possesses a gun, that means somebody without a criminal record. And I subject here does not have a serious criminal record of any kind. He is not a professional criminal. He is an individual who was discharged by the coast guard and I think 2023, and has been going through these struggles.
But he does possess a firearm. His mom was concerned about his mental state. Georgia is a place where you can carry that for firearms openly, or concealed in most public places. And there is no red flag law in place there to remove weapons from someone who is going through emotional trauma.
TAPPER: John, when police are looking for an individual like the suspect, who has already shot five people, killed one of them, critically wounded three of them. Obviously he is presumed on armed and dangerous.
He is also a veteran, as you know. He was with the U.S. Coast Guard until earlier this year.
Does the fact that he might be well trained with firearms because of his military coast guard experience, does that change anything in terms of the way they approach him, given that they already are considering him armed and presumed dangerous?
MILLER: I mean, armed endangers is armed and dangerous. The fact that he is well-trained in the Coast Guard -- and remember, Jake, I mean, the Coast Guard is a hybrid of a military organization but also a law enforcement organization. Their weapons training is very much like law enforcement as they do shipboardings and interdictions of narcotics cruise and so on.
So, he is somebody that they are going to be very careful with. Distance and time is going to be their friend if they can get it.
TAPPER: All right. John Miller, thank you for expertise as always. Appreciate it.
We are standing by for new information about the victims of the Atlanta shooting. We are also following that alarming claim from the Kremlin today accusing Ukraine of launching a drone attack, claiming that they now reserve the right to retaliate. What does Ukraine have to say about this claim? What does the United States think?
Plus, exclusive CNN reporting about the testimony that former Vice President Mike Pence gave to a grand jury, and where that the special counsel overseeing the investigation actually sat in on the interview.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
This hour, it wasn't us. Ukrainian officials privately as well as publicly saying that they were not behind the alleged drone attack in Moscow, Russia, overnight. Is this another false flag incident got carried out by the Kremlin on themselves?
Plus, a CNN exclusive. Sources say that special counsel Jack Smith sat in on former Vice President Mike Pence's testimony before the grand jury investigating January 6th. What was Smith hoping to hear?
And leading this hour, any moment we are expecting an update from hospital officials in Atlanta, Georgia, after the mass shooting earlier today. A manhunt underway right now for 24-year-old Deion Patterson who police say shot five people in a medical waiting room,, killing one of them, sending four of them to the hospital.
Investigators believe Patterson then stole a car to flee the scene. They have now since recovered that car. They are expanding the search to Atlanta's northern suburbs to find Patterson.
Let's go to CNN's Nick Valencia who is on the scene in Midtown Atlanta.
Nick, we are hearing that there have been several reported sightings of the suspects.