By Curt Yeomans
College Park resident, Tyrone Terek Patterson, is facing four felony charges, including one count of murder, and three counts of aggravated assault, in connection with the death of 17-year-old Darnell Fields, last Thursday.
Warrants for Patterson's arrest, filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court last Friday, point to him as the person who allegedly shot Fields twice in the chest in College Park after an exchange of words with a relative of Fields'. Police had previously identified Patterson as a person of interest in the murder investigation.
Clayton County Police spokesman, Officer Otis Willis, III, said authorities have been looking for Patterson, who also goes by the aliases "T-Rex," "T," and "Jersey," since Friday. Patterson is described as a black male, 5-foot, 9-inches tall, and weighing approximately 215 pounds, according to Willis.
Willis, in a written statement, recommended caution if anyone sees Patterson. "If he is seen, notify the nearest law enforcement agency," he said. "Do not approach Tyrone Terek Patterson. He is believed to be armed and dangerous."
According to warrants for Patterson's arrest, he is facing three counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting at three people, who were walking along a path in a wooded area, off Faith Cove, in College Park, toward a neighborhood pool.
Police had previously released the names of only two people, Fields, and his 32-year-old aunt, Cande Hope, because they had been struck by bullets. Hope was hit with a bullet in her left calf. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, in Atlanta, for treatment. Fields died from his injuries at the scene of the shooting, according to Willis.
The arrest warrants reveal that Patterson allegedly shot at a third person, Fields' 22-year-old cousin, Caponetti Faulkner, who was walking with Fields and Hope when the shooting occurred. Faulkner was not injured, according to the warrants.
The warrants reveal that, prior to the shooting, Patterson and Faulkner shouted "What's up?" to each other. "Caponetti reported he observed a known black male lift his arm, and start shooting a handgun at them," Clayton County Police Detective Michael Medious wrote in his warrant application affidavit. "Caponetti reported he told everyone to get low. Caponetti reported he observed his cousin, Darnell Alonzo Fields, go to the ground, and initially thought he was taking cover from the gun fire.
"Caponetti reported he doesn't know the guy that was doing the shooting('s) real name, but he thinks they call him 'Jersey,' Medious wrote. "Information was discovered that 'Jersey' is also Tyrone T. Patterson," he said.
Medious wrote in his affidavit that Faulkner and two witnesses identified Patterson as the alleged shooter during a photographic line up. Medious also wrote in his affidavit that he searched Patterson's reported home, on Faith Cove, and found a gun case for a .45 caliber Hi-Point pistol. Several spent .45 caliber shell casings were also found on the ground around the porch on the side of the house, Medious wrote.
One of three people who were reportedly standing with Patterson during the shooting, 19-year-old Isaiah Adams, told investigators that the shooting was brought on by another person in the neighborhood stealing a handgun from Patterson, Medious wrote in his affidavit. A Clayton County Police Department statement reports that there were, in total, five people standing on the porch of Patterson's home during the shooting.
Adams reportedly told investigators the handgun was allegedly stolen "probably two, or three weeks" before the shooting.
According to court documents, Adams told police that Patterson had said he had been "robbed out of a handgun and pistol whipped" by a person in the neighborhood, known as "Thermal."
"Thermal's" real name is not listed in the affidavit, but Medious wrote, "Isaiah [Adams] reported they call him 'Thermal' because he always has a long sleeve thermal type shirt on in any weather." Police spokesman, Lt. Tina Daniel, said she could not give out the identity of 'Thermal,' because it might hurt the police department's ongoing investigation into the shooting.
Willis said anyone who has more information about the shooting is asked to call Detective Medious, at (678) 610-4743.