Photo: Getty
  /  09.03.2022

Update: The Beechcraft King Air C90 twin engine plane was landed near Ashland, MS around 10:30 a.m. Patterson was taken into custody. He is charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats. “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,” tweeted Gov. Reeves.

 

Original Story: A Mississippi Walmart has been evacuated following reports of a pilot threatening to intentionally crash a plane into the superstore. Tupelo Police said they were notified of the pilot’s intentions when he called 911 Saturday (Sept. 3) around 5 a.m.

The Daily Journal reports a plane similar to a King Air aircraft was stolen by a man identified as Cory Patterson. He is a 2011 graduate of Tupelo High School. Patterson has worked as an employee at the Tupelo Regional Airport for the past 10 years, where he fuels aircraft. In a Facebook post shared Saturday morning, he expressed remorse in what appears to be a goodbye note to his family and friends. “Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye,” he wrote.

According to police, the pilot is targeting the store located in the area of Dodges and West Main streets. “Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given. With the mobility of an airplane of that type, the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo,” read a statement from the agency. State Governor Tate Reeves also issued a statement to the public saying, “State law enforcement and emergency managers are closely tracking this dangerous situation. All citizens should be on alert and aware of updates from the Tupelo Police Department,” in tweet.

For hours, Patterson was observed flying the plane at a low altitude over Holly Springs National Forest and the surrounding areas. Police said they managed to maintain contact with him throughout most of his time in the air. See Gov. Reeves’ updates below.

 

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