Tupelo, Mississippi pilot who threatened to ram plane into Walmart is down, in custody


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The pilot flying a small plane over Tupelo, Mississippi has landed after threatening to crash into a Walmart Saturday, authorities said.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the plane, flown by a man later identified as Cory Patterson, had landed in a field in Ashland, roughly 60 miles northeast of Tupelo.

Details on the plane’s landing remain unclear. 

The Tupelo Police Department said it was notified around 5 am this morning that a pilot flying a “King Air type” airplane was considering crashing into a Walmart located on West Main street.

Authorities have confirmed the plane, which is believed to have been stolen, was a fixed wing multi-engine 1987 Beech C90A model. 

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Authorities evacuated the Walmart and a Dodges eatery and gas station located near the shopping center to disperse people “as much as practical.”

Roads in west Tupelo and near the airport were reopened as the pilot headed northeast of Tupelo, where authorities reportedly convened.

The police department reached contact with the pilot while his was in the air.

Patterson is reportedly believed to be an employee of the Tupelo Airport.

A pilot flying over Tupelo, Mississippi, threatened to crash the airplane, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, police said.
(Colby Breazeale via Storyful)

“The plane over North MS is down,” Gov. Tate Reeves said on  Twitter. “Thankful the situation has been resolved and that no one was injured. 

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“Thank you most of all to local, state, and federal law enforcement who managed this situation with extreme professionalism,” he added. 

It remains unclear what was behind the pilot’s motive, but Patterson has taken into custody by Sheriff Robby Goolsby.

Fox News could not immediately reach the governor, Tupelo Police Department or the regional airport for comment. 

Fox News’ Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.



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