Tupelo pilot: Who is Cory Patterson?

Cory Patterson worked at Tupelo Aviation at the Tupelo Regional Airport for ten years

A rogue student pilot who stole an aircraft and threatened to crash it into a Mississippi Walmart Saturday has been arrested.

The suspect will be charged by police with grand larceny and making terroristic threats. The federal government may proceed with further charges, police said.

Cory Patterson, 29, stole a fully fueled Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engine aircraft from Tupelo Airport at around 5am, called 911 and threatened to crash into a Walmart store.

In a Facebook message at 9:32 a.m. that now has been deleted, Patterson wrote an apology to his family, saying, "Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye." 

Patterson landed in a field where he was taken into custody.

Patterson landed in a field where he was taken into custody. (Apex Marketing Team)

In a press conference, Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said that Patterson, "has some flight instruction, but we do not believe he is a licensed pilot."

Negotiators made contact with the pilot and convinced him to land at the airport. Quaka revealed that a private pilot spoke with Patterson since he did not know how to land the plane

TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI PILOT WHO THREATENED TO RAM PLANE INTO WALMART IS DOWN, IN CUSTODY

Corey Patterson worked Tupelo Aviation at the Tupelo Regional Airport for ten years.

Corey Patterson worked Tupelo Aviation at the Tupelo Regional Airport for ten years. (Corey Patterson/Facebook)

Patterson tried to land but aborted the landing about 100 feet from the ground and traveled northwest.

A few hours later, the plane landed in a field in Benton County, 40 miles northwest of Tupelo. He was taken into custody.

Patterson worked as a lineman for Tupelo Aviation at the Tupelo Regional Airport for ten years and had access to the plane, Quaka said. Linemen fuel the aircraft. 

ROGUE PILOT IN CUSTODY AFTER CRASH LANDING NORTH OF TUPELO, MS

Patterson's flight pattern after stealing a Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engine aircraft from Tupelo Airport.

Patterson's flight pattern after stealing a Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engine aircraft from Tupelo Airport. (Flight Radar 24/Fox News)

The pilot's motivation for the incident remains unclear.

"We will run down with the motivation," Quaka said at the news conference. "We will pursue any angle and avenue that there is. We will work in conjunction with the FBI to do so."

Chelsea Fleming Jolly, a close friend of Patterson wrote a Facebook post following the incident.

"He’s a human being. A good human being too. He made a huge mistake today, and it saddens me that the rest of the world won’t ever get to know him the way that I do." Jolly wrote. "He could have ended it all today, freeing himself from all the hurtful and ugly things that are going to be said about him but instead, he chose life and a chance at forgiveness. You, too, have a decision to make, you can either pray for him or you can be the reason that people feel [like] they have no hope."

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In a tweet, Governor Tate Reeves said, "Thanks most of all to native, state, and federal legislation enforcement who managed this case with excessive professionalism."

The investigation into Patterson's actions is ongoing.