Police evacuate Mississippi stores after pilot of ‘stolen’ Walmart threatens to crash

Pilot, 29, who stole plane and threatened to crash safely at Mississippi Walmart LANDS and is taken into custody – after scaring residents for FIVE HOURS and posting farewell message

  • Authorities have evacuated the Walmart store in Mississippi after threats were made by an unidentified pilot
  • The 9 seater plane was picked up from Tupelo airport around 5am and was fly in circles over the city
  • Citizens have been warned to avoid the area until emergency services give the all-clear
  • Cory Patterson, 29, landed the plane in a field near Gravestown, Mississippi after flying for five hours
  • The student pilot posted a chilling message on social media, saying he “never intended” to hurt anyone

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A student pilot who stole a plane from an airport posted a chilling farewell message on social media while still in the air.

Cory Paterson, 29, boarded the plane from Tupelo Airport around 5 a.m. and has been flying in circles over Mississippi for the past five hours.

Patterson reportedly threatened to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane into a Walmart and has been in contact with the Tupelo Police Department.

In what appeared to be a final message, Patterson posted on Facebook: “Apologies to everyone. Didn’t really mean to hurt anyone. I love my parents and my sister, it’s not your fault. Goodbye.’

He is believed to be working at Tupelo Regional Airport and is a regular on flying planes around the country.

The plane crashed in a field near Gravestown several hours later, and a spokesman for the Benton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Patterson was taken into custody.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed they were working with local law enforcement and that Patterson was the only person on the plane.

Reports from the scene say the plane appears to have little damage after being stopped more than four hours after takeoff.

Cory Paterson, 29, boarded the plane from Tupelo Airport around 5 a.m. and has been flying in circles over Mississippi for the past five hours

Cory Paterson, 29, boarded the plane from Tupelo Airport around 5 a.m. and has been flying in circles over Mississippi for the past five hours

He posted a message on social media while still on the air saying

He posted a message on social media while still on the air saying “goodbye” and adding that he “actually never meant to hurt anyone”.

The plane has now crashed in a field near Gravestown after several hours and the Benton County Sheriff's Department is believed to have taken Patterson into custody

The plane has now crashed in a field near Gravestown after several hours and the Benton County Sheriff’s Department is believed to have taken Patterson into custody

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The 9-seater plane was picked up from Tupelo Airport around 5am and flew in circles over the city

The 9-seater plane was picked up from Tupelo Airport around 5am and flew in circles over the city

He is believed to be working at Tupelo Regional Airport and is a regular on flying planes around the country. Authorities have yet to confirm whether the plane he was flying crash-landed

He is believed to be working at Tupelo Regional Airport and is a regular on flying planes around the country. Authorities have yet to confirm whether the plane he was flying crash-landed

Sources confirmed to the Daily Journal that the plane's pilot is an employee of Tupelo Regional Airport, but the motive behind the erratic flying is unclear

Sources confirmed to the Daily Journal that the plane’s pilot is an employee of Tupelo Regional Airport, but the motive behind the erratic flying is unclear

The Tupelo Police Department will hold a press conference around noon.

It is understood the pilot contacted the police about his intentions at 5am and stayed in touch with them for some time before cutting off communications.

Authorities evacuated the Walmart that was the site of the original threat, dispersing as many people as possible and urging locals to get out of each other’s way.

Patterson circled the Walmart store, with witnesses claiming he then flew to the Toyota plant in Blue Springs before being spotted at Ripley.

In a statement, TPD said: “At approximately 05:00, TPD was notified that a pilot of an aircraft was flying over Tupelo.

“The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main.

“TPD has worked with Walmart West and Dodges in West Main to evacuate stores and disperse people as much as possible.

“TPD was also able to talk directly to the pilot.

Patterson circled the Walmart store, with witnesses claiming he then flew to the Toyota plant in Blue Springs before being spotted at Ripley

Patterson circled the Walmart store, with witnesses claiming he then flew to the Toyota plant in Blue Springs before being spotted at Ripley

Authorities have evacuated the area and dispersed as many people as possible, urging locals to stay out of each other's way

Authorities have evacuated the area and dispersed as many people as possible, urging locals to stay out of each other’s way

The Tupelo Police Department says it is in contact with the pilot who is threatening to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane

The Tupelo Police Department says it is in contact with the pilot who is threatening to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane

“At this point the situation is ongoing and TPD and all emergency services in our area are on alert.

“Citizens are asked to avoid this area until the all clear is given. With the mobility of an aircraft of this type, the danger zone is much larger than even with Tupelo.’

Said to be owned by Southeast Aviation LLC, the aircraft is a nine-seater, twin-engine aircraft.

Gov. Tate Reeves said: “The plane crashed over North MS. Luckily, the situation resolved and no one was injured.

“First and foremost, thank you to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies who have handled this situation with the utmost professionalism.”

A Walmart spokesman told DailyMail.com: “The store is currently closed and evacuated.

“We are working closely with local investigators and are escalating questions to law enforcement.”

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for the FBI’s Jackson field office added, “The FBI, consistent with our state and local partners, is aware of the situation. This is an active and ongoing affair. We will provide additional information as soon as we have it.’

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11176215/Police-evacuate-stores-Mississippi-pilot-stolen-threatens-crash-Walmart.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Police evacuate Mississippi stores after pilot of ‘stolen’ Walmart threatens to crash

Bradford Betz

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