One Mississippi Walmart found itself the target of a pilot threatening to slam a plane into the building. However, police officials have now detained the offending pilot in the wake of his circling the area for hours on end in an allegedly stolen plan, as reported by state officials.
The pilot, who has now been officially identified as Cory Wayne Patterson, had made threats to crash a plane into a Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, which is a small town of roughly 38,000 in the northeastern area of Mississippi. The plane ended up choosing ot instead land in an area roughly 50 miles north of Tupelo where the Sheriff’s Department of Benton County was able to take him into custody.
“The plane over North MS is down. Thankful the situation has been resolved and that no one was injured. Thank you most of all to local, state, and federal law enforcement who managed this situation with extreme professionalism,” explained Governor Tate Reeves (R-MS) via a social media post.
Police officials do not think that Patterson was a licensed pilot and claimed that he is now looking down the barrel of charges for issuing terroristic threats and grand larceny, as reported by a local news outlet, the Daily Journal. Patterson could also be slammed with further federal charges further down the line.
Per @AP : The small plane threatening to crash in #Tupelo, Mississippi has landed and no one has been hurt. The person inside the plane is in custody.
Throughout the morning, law enforcement has been scrambling to resolve the situation as the plane kept circling the area. pic.twitter.com/nFY4vuKoKR
— Shane Battis TV (@ShaneBattisTV) September 3, 2022
This arrest comes in the wake of the Tupelo Police Department’s recent Saturday morning announcement that they had been “notified that a pilot of an airplane (possibly King Air type) was flying over Tupelo. The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main.”
In the wake of the call coming in, the police worked to get people out of the area, and negotiators were brought in to attempt to calmly bring in Patterson. Police claimed that family members were also utilized to try and talk down Patterson.
The plane was officially identified by police officials as a stolen Beechcraft King Air 90. Patterson finally chose to land the plane in a field in Benton Country before he was finally detained by police forces.
One woman who stated to CNN that she saw the plane crash land into a field claimed that it appeared to have crashed “pretty hard.”
“We did see the suspect with his hands up and we saw police detain him without any incident,” stated Roxanne Ward. “Police were there immediately, which led me to believe that they were following him.”
John Quaka, the Police Chief Tupelo, claimed that Patterson, who worked for a contractor under the airports, stole the plane as part of what is being called a “crime of opportunity.”