McIntosh grad killed in Atlanta robbery
A former Peachtree City man was shot to death during a robbery not far from his home in East Atlanta Village this past weekend.
Patrick Cotrona, a 1998 graduate of McIntosh High School, was one of three men accosted by an armed gunman during the attack, according to his older sister, Kate Cotrona Krumm. One of Cotrona’s friends was shot in the leg, but not until he was able to use pepper spray to fend off the assailant, she said.
Although their efforts were futile, bystanders tried to stop the bleeding from Cotrona’s wound and he was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center after being whisked there by ambulance, Krumm said.
While they are reeling from Cotrona’s death, family members want him remembered for the way he lived his life, the love he gave and the irrevocable bond they shared growing up in Peachtree City.
Cotrona was an engineer for a video game company and had blossomed at Georgia Tech, Krumm said. The two shared a home together after college before she got married, for about three years.
“He was the best roommate I ever had,” Krumm said, adding that her brother had shunned corporate life for a more rewarding job despite the lower pay and benefits. It was more important to him to do something enjoyable, she said.
A minor in Japanese and a fan of anime, Cotrona once visited Japan on his own for two weeks and also spent about a week living in a Buddhist community, living as the natives did, Krumm recalled. He even went to a wedding once in South Africa, she added.
Cotrona, a video game engineer, was also a science fiction fan who was a regular at the Sci-Fi Dragon Con conference in Atlanta every year. As a child he was so academically sharp that he landed in his sister’s gifted classes though she was three years older, Krumm said. He was also very peaceful and avoided confrontation, she recalled.
A voracious reader, Cotrona was also a beer connoisseur, a joy he shared with his father Frank Cotrona. In fact, Patrick and his friends were walking to a nearby pub when he was gunned down.
Krumm said the family, including mom Paulette and sister Karen Cotrona Annis, plans to erect a memorial near where her brother was killed. They also are hoping for justice.
“My family, we want to remember this beautiful loving person who touched our lives in so many ways. Right now we don’t know when we will be able to find the peace because we are so traumatized by this grief, pain and shock over this horrifying, disgusting and depraved act,” Krumm said.
As the older sister of an academically-advanced brother who preferred books to outside play, Krumm recalled having to defend him over the years before he “blossomed” at Georgia Tech into the very social, amiable person he became. Now the Cotrona family is faced with a future without Patrick, a brother and cousin ... and also an uncle to two young girls “who will never get to grow up and know him,” Krumm said.
“We are trying to wrap our heads around something that we will never be able to wrap our heads around,” Krumm said. “... I don’t want the fact that my brother died over a few bucks to be the last of him. I want to protect other people. I want the community, the city, the police, the courts and the prison system to act. I want justice for him but also to prevent another family from going through what we are going through right now.”
In the meantime, the family will remember and celebrate Cotrona’s life and the legacy he leaves with them. For no criminal will ever be able to take that away from them, ever.
“Growing up, his head was always in a book,” Krumm recalled. “Our parents to punish him would send him outside. ... He learned so much just from reading the encyclopedia. He was also a sweet tender middle child to two sisters. ... He was also part of the Life Teen program at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.”
It was a life well-lived, even if it was cut far too short than anyone had envisioned.
“Dad said Patrick was the best in all of us,” Krumm said. “And it’s very true.”