On Saturday morning, the Tupelo, Mississippi Police Department issued a press release stating that the pilot of a small aircraft was threatening to crash into an area Walmart. The pilot, who was later apprehended, reached out to authorities at 5 a.m. informing them of his plans.
In a recent update from Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves on Twitter he says the man is now in custody.
"The plane over North MS is down," Tate says. "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."
The pilot has now been identified as Cory Patterson, who worked for Tupelo Aviation according to Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka.
"We do anticipate that the federal government will proceed with federal charges in the very near future," Quaka said in a quote to Fox News.
The full press release on the incident, issued by the Tupelo, Mississippi Police Department early Saturday morning and later updated when the suspect was taken into custody, can be seen here:
As of 10:55 a.m., the plane landed safely in a field in Benton County. The pilot is alive and is in custody.
As of 10:37 a.m., the plane landed in a field southeast of Ashland.
As of 10:24 a.m., the plane crashed/landed southeast of Ashland.
As of 10:17 a.m., the plane appears to have stopped.
As of 10:07 a.m., the plane is northwest of Ripley.
As of 9:58 a.m., the plane is still southwest of Falkner.
As of 9:45 a.m., the plane southwest of Falkner.
As of 9:32 a.m., the plane is northwest of Ripley.
Update 09-03-2022 @ approximately 08:35 am the plane is reported to be airborne north of Tupelo in the Benton, Union County Area. Local, State and Federal Authorities are continuing to monitor this dangerous situation.
On 09-03-2022 at approximately 05:00 am TPD was 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.
TPD has worked with Wal-Mart West and Dodges on West Main to evacuate the stores and disperse people as much as practical. TPD also has been able to begin talking with the pilot directly.
At this time the situation is ongoing with TPD and all Emergency Services in our area are on alert.
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.
More information will be released when appropriate.
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A person on Twitter who offered, at the time, unconfirmed information that the pilot is 29-years-old and flying a stolen plane included video of the scene from below.
"Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given," the police wrote. "With the mobility of an airplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo."