The pilot who allegedly threatened to crash stolen plane into a nearby Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, in the United States, safely landed and was taken into custody, according to authorities.
Plane Lands in Open Field West of Ripley
Tate Reeves, the governor, declared on Twitter that “no one was injured” and that “the situation has been resolved.” Reeves extended his gratitude to the law enforcement agencies for their assistance in shooting the plane down.
The man, identified as Cory Patterson, was detained, and the police also made public his mugshot. In light of the incident, Patterson reportedly now faces charges of terrorism.
According to Connie Strickland, a dispatcher with the Benton County sheriff’s office, the plane landed at 11:25 am Eastern time (1525 GMT) after circling erratically over Tupelo and the surrounding area for hours.
A plane was seen circling overhead at a low altitude in a video posted by BNO News. The police claim that the plane began circling around five in the morning and remained in the air for more than three hours. According to the police, the pilot called a 911 operator and threatened to “intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main.“
According to The Associated Press’s citation of the Tupelo Police Department, the Walmart and a nearby convenience store had been evacuated. The police claimed to have spoken with the pilot directly and that he had dialled 911 at around five in the morning.
The plane’s apparent course was depicted on a map from the FlightAware website as an erratic, zigzag pattern centred on Tupelo.
According to officials, the aircraft appeared to be of the “King Air type,” a utility aircraft made by Beechcraft that typically has seating for six or seven people.
According to a statement from the police, “citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given.” “The danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo with the mobility of an aeroplane of that type.”
Authorities are investigating whether the pilot threatening to crash the plane is an employee of a nearby airport after the plane, later identified as a Beechcraft King Air C90A, was likely stolen, according to two people briefed on the situation who spoke to the AP. Numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, are looking into the case.
In a tweet, Governor Tate Reeves stated that emergency managers and state law enforcement are closely monitoring this dangerous situation. He continued, “All citizens should be on guard and informed of updates from the Tupelo Police Department.”
Soon after 8 a.m., law enforcement informed the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the plane had left the Tupelo area’s airspace and was now flying close to a Toyota manufacturing facility in Blue Springs.
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