hat the “situation has been resolve
pilot, who allegedly threatened to crash a plane into a local Walmart store in Mississippi’s Tupelo in USA, landed safely and been taken into custody, authorities said. Governor Tate Reeves announced on Twitter that the “situation has been resolved and that no one was injured.” Reeves further thanked law enforcement agencies that helped in bringing the aircraft down.
The man, identified as Cory Patterson has been arrested and police have released his mugshot, as well. According to reports, Patterson now faces terror charges over the incident.
The plane, which had circled erratically over the city of Tupelo and a nearby area for hours, landed around 11:25 am Eastern time (1525 GMT), Connie Strickland, a dispatcher with the Benton County sheriff’s office, told AFP.
A video shared by BNO News showed a plane circling over head at a low altitude. According to the police, the plane started circling about 5 am and was still in the air more than three hours later. The pilot had contacted a 911 operator and was “threatening to intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main," the police said.
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The Walmart and a nearby convenience store had been evacuated, the Tupelo Police Department was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. The police also said that they made direct contact and the pilot called the emergency number around 5 am.
A map from the FlightAware website showed what appeared to be the plane’s course, an erratic, zigzag pattern centred around Tupelo.
Officials said the plane appeared to be of the “King Air type," a utility plane built by Beechcraft, generally with seating for six or seven passengers. “Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given," the police said in a statement. “With the mobility of an airplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo.”
According to authorities, the aircraft, later identified as Beechcraft King Air C90A, was likely stolen and are working to determine whether the pilot threatening to crash the plane is an employee of a local airport, two people briefed on the matter told the AP. The case is being investigated by the multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
Governor Tate Reeves in a Twitter post said the 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, he added.”
Law enforcement told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Jour