On Saturday, 3rd September 2022, a pilot who hijacked an airplane threatened to smash the plane into a Walmart store in the Tupelo City of Mississippi. The Tupelo police said that the store has been evacuated following the threat. Around five in the morning, the jet began to circle, and more than three hours later, it was still in the air.
BREAKING: An airplane in Tupelo is threatening to crash in to Tupelo Walmart this morning. Avoid area. Here is video of the actual airplane, a fairly large one. pic.twitter.com/2ppgg1sE1S— Mississippi Sports (@SocialSportsMs) September 3, 2022
Authorities claimed to have spoken with the Beechcraft King Air 90 pilot personally who is intending to deliberately crash the aircraft. The police wrote in a notice published on Facebook, “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.”
The pilot has since been identified as Cory Patterson of Shannon, Mississippi. Patterson shared a message on Facebook saying that he never wanted to hurt anyone and that he loved his family. However later that post was deleted. A screenshot of the message is given below.
The plane flying above the Mississippi city was visible in a video posted by the news network BNO. According to a report, the aircraft had departed the Tupelo area’s airspace and was now flying close to a Toyota production factory in the nearby Blue Springs.
BREAKING: Pilot threatening to crash plane into Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, police say pic.twitter.com/znMlDj5M2N— BNO News (@BNONews) September 3, 2022
Several government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security are now engaged in the inquiry and trying to determine a purpose. Investigators are in touch with the pilot and keeping an eye on the flight’s trajectory.
Mississippi governor Tate Reeves said, “State law enforcement and emergency managers are closely tracking this dangerous situation. All citizens should be on alert and aware of updates from the Tupelo Police Department.”