Federal prison records show that 29-year-old Cory Wayne Patterson, who was accused of stealing a small plane and threatening to fly it into a Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, has died in custody.
Patterson was arrested on Sept. 3 and faced two federal charges; destruction of aircraft and attempt to commit an offense, court records show. Inmate records show he was being held in a Federal Detention Center in Miami and died on Monday.
Patterson allegedly stole a Beechcraft King Air C-90 twin engine aircraft from the Tupelo Regional Airport just after 5 a.m. on Sept. 3. As an employee of Tupelo Aviation, which operates out of the airport, he had access to the plane.
Shortly after taking off, Patterson made contact with E911 and was threatening to crash intentionally, according to police. Negotiators were able to convince him not to crash and to land the aircraft at Tupelo Airport.
He eventually aborted the landing and flew north, away from Tupelo. Around 9:20 a.m., when the plane was close to running out of fuel, Patterson posted a “goodbye” message on Facebook, police said at the time.
The plane eventually landed in a field in Ripley, Mississippi, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Police worked with Walmart and a nearby Dodge’s market to evacuate those stores and disperse people as much as possible.
Patterson was taken into custody as soon as the plane landed. Tupelo police said he was being charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats.
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