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Riverhead woman arrested following shooting; child located unharmed

09/06/2019 7:40 AM |

Update (2:55 p.m.): Southampton Town police have confirmed Patchita Tennant has turned herself in and is now in custody.

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki issued a statement just before 3 p.m. saying Ms. Tennant has been arrested and charges will be announced later today. An arraignment is expected Saturday morning.

The chief noted many departments assisted in the investigation: Suffolk County police, New York State police, Riverhead police, East Hampton police, U.S. Marshals, FBI and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Update (11:12 a.m.): The 3-year-old child who was the subject of the Amber Alert has been located with a relative and is safe, according to Southampton Town police.

Police are still searching for the woman who allegedly shot the father of their child and fled the scene with the girl, according to Lt. Susan Ralph.

The girl was found unharmed with a relative of Patchita Tennant Friday morning. The girl had been at the house through the night and police are attempting to narrow down the exact time she was dropped off. The relative has been cooperative with police, she added.

Police located the vehicle in Middle Island and the search for Ms. Tennant remains active.

Lt. Ralph said at a press conference at police headquarters that the relative who had the child contacted police after seeing the Amber Alert. The relative lives locally.

The weapon used in the shooting has been recovered, she said.

Investigators examine the car in a Middle Island parking lot. (Credit: Stringer News)

Police did not have additional details as to what led to the domestic dispute that resulted in the shooting. Lt. Ralph said police are investigating any history of domestic violence and added that “the child is in a very supportive family relationship.”

Ms. Tennant and Andrew Mitchell shared custody of the child.

Lt. Ralph cautioned anyone who sees Ms. Tennant should contact 911.

“She was seen just prior to the incident in a very agitated state,” Lt. Ralph said. “With that being said, we are concerned [she could be dangerous].”

Lt. Ralph said police attempted to work every avenue where the child could be located once they responded to the scene of the shooting.

“We had officers and detectives canvassing every one of those locations and once we established that the child was not at those locations, then we put out the Amber Alert,” Lt. Ralph said.

No one else was inside the home at the time.

Mr. Mitchell suffered serious injuries, but they are not expected to be life threatening, she added.

Lt. Ralph said Ms. Tennant and Mr. Mitchell have been living together on and off, but Ms. Tennant was living at another location in Riverhead at the time.

Child Protective Services has been involved and will determine if the child can remain with the relative, Lt. Ralph said.

Lt. Ralph said New York State Police assisted in the initial investigation and once the Amber Alert was out, all police departments were also involved.

“It shows that putting that information out and getting every law enforcement agency involved, we work together and it’s very important that we work together,” Lt. Ralph said.

Top photo caption: Lt. Susan Ralph provides an update on the investigation. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

The home where the shooting took place is tucked away down a road off of Pleasure Drive. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Original Story: A Riverhead woman shot her child’s father multiple times in Flanders Thursday night and then fled with their 3-year-old daughter, prompting a statewide Amber Alert Friday morning, according to police.

Andrew Mitchell, 46, of Flanders was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital following the domestic dispute where he was shot. Police said Patchita Tennant, 42, who is known as Patricia, fled the area with their daughter after the shooting and they have not been located.

Mr. Mitchell was conscious and alert when officers arrived on scene at about 8:20 p.m. and relayed that his daughter was missing.

The Amber Alert notes the child was “taken under circumstances that lead police to believe that they are in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death.”

The 3-year-old child, Vanessa Tennant-Mitchell, has braided, black hair and brown eyes. She is approximately 2 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 50 pounds. She was last seen wearing a red shirt, blue pants and black sneakers.

Patchita Tennant is black, with braided, black hair and brown eyes. She is approximately 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 160 pounds. She was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt.

The vehicle police are searching for is a gray 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe with NY license plate number HUS7151. The suspect was last seen traveling on Pleasure Drive.

Anyone with information should contact Southampton police at 866-697-2627 or dial 911.

Police urge anyone who may come in contact with Ms. Tennant to use extreme caution.

The type of vehicle police are searching for. (Not actual car pictured).

Photos provided by Southampton police.

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