Woman killed in Atlanta mass shooting remembered by friends
Loved ones of a woman killed after a gunman opened fire in an Atlanta doctor's office Wednesday are remembering her as a dedicated mother and friend who was passionate about progressive causes.
Amy St. Pierre, 38, was an employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Spokesperson Benjamin N. Haynes told Axios that St. Pierre was a public health analyst working on maternal health in the agency's Division of Reproductive Health.
- She graduated in 2003 from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, according to the school alumni Facebook page.
Amelia Trace Lerner — who met St. Pierre at a breastfeeding support group and became so close that they shared calendars — called the mother of two a quick-witted, life-loving, level-headed friend who enjoyed talking about books, kids and the world.
- Before her death, St. Pierre, a passionate activist who recently protested against Atlanta's public safety training center with her children, was focusing on maternal mortality issues, Lerner told Axios.
- "She was curious and smart and one of those capable friends you have who always seem to know a little more, to be better tuned in, to be able to accomplish more with the same hours," she said.
- "I keep thinking she's someone I would be writing to today, talking about how this was too close to home and who we were calling, where we would march, and where to donate."
"She showed that being driven, adventurous, and career-minded was in no way antithetical to being a great friend, partner, sister, daughter, and mom," Rob Royall, a friend and former roommate who was adopted into her high school friend group and fostered an overweight pug with her, told Axios.
- "Amy made an indelible impression on my life, and I'm absolutely heartbroken for her and her family."
Meanwhile: Four other women remain in the hospital — three in the ICU — after the shooting, Dr. Robert Jansen, chief medical officer at Grady Health Center, said Thursday.
- The accused gunman, 24-year-old Deion Duwane Patterson, waived his first court appearance Thursday morning. He's charged with the murder of St. Pierre and four counts of aggravated assault against the other victims.
Jansen told reporters that two of the women in ICU had to go back to the operating room for additional procedures, and the third woman in the ICU was expected to be moved out of that unit Thursday.
- "This is, unfortunately, a fairly routine thing after these types of injuries," he said. "You can't do everything during the first operation."
- He also said he had an opportunity to speak with two of the shooting victims.
- "They have been traumatized," he said. "They are very grateful for the support and care they received. They realized that this is a horrific event, and the fact that they were in a health care facility makes it worse, but they were really grateful."
What happened: Atlanta police said Patterson opened fire just after noon in the waiting room on the 11th floor of the Northside Medical Midtown building at 1100 W. Peachtree Street.
- Patterson, who police said was at the office for an appointment, allegedly stole an idling vehicle outside a nearby gas station and fled the area to Cobb County.
- Witnesses told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they found Patterson at the pool in the Waterford Place condominiums near The Battery Atlanta.
- Police announced just before 8pm Wednesday that he had been captured.
Of note: The AJC also reports that the federal Department of Veterans Affairs will investigate the mental health treatment Patterson, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard, received from the agency.
Editor's note: This story was updated to include a statement from St. Pierre's friend, Rob Royall.
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