Cory Patterson, Tupelo Pilot: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

cory patterson

Facebook Cory Patterson

Cory Patterson was identified as the rogue pilot accused of threatening to slam a small plane into a local Walmart store in Tupelo, Mississippi.

For hours, the plane circled over Tupelo, creating a dangerous situation that kept the local community on edge.

Tupelo police warned the public in a 5 a.m. news release on September 3, 2022, that the pilot was “threatening to intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main.”

In the end, though, Patterson landed the plane and was taken into custody, according to The Daily Journal, which wrote, “Multiple sources have confirmed the plane is down in Ashland. The pilot, Cory Patterson, is alive. The status of the plane is unknown.”

The Daily Journal reported that Patterson is from Shannon, Mississippi.

The incident was reminiscent of the tragedy involving Richard Russell, who stole a large jet in Seattle and flew around the city. In that case, though, Russell crashed the plane and died.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. ‘Sorry Everyone. Never Actually Wanted to Hurt Anyone,’ Patterson Wrote on Facebook

cory patterson

FacebookCory Patterson post

Patterson wrote what appeared to be a suicide note on Facebook before the plane incident. The Facebook page has now been deleted. Heavy reviewed the post before it was removed.

He wrote, “Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye.”

Daily Journal reported that authorities believe the Facebook post was written by the suspect.

A woman shared a photo of Patterson on Facebook and wrote,

You see that guy on the very far left. His name is Cory Patterson. 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. This world is cruel (clearly proven through some of the comments that I’ve read). We have become a selfish society where we think it’s cooler to create ‘memes’ about someone else’s emotional state than it is to be the reason someone decides to live another day. That’s sick!!!

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 ppl feel they have no hope.

A woman wrote on Facebook, “This was too close to home. Thankful it wasn’t an awful death but most importantly, praising he did not harm others. I believe it finally hit him what he was doing and had a lot of people scared.

Cory Patterson– thank you for not siding with the demons you are fighting. I’m so sorry it came to this, man. It sucks when help doesn’t help, I know. Aside from the jokes & anger, God had you and I hope you turn to him.”


2. Patterson May Work for an Operator That Leases Space at the Airport

According to the Daily Journal, Patterson “is not an employee of the Tupelo Regional Airport, but may work for a Fixed Based Operator that leases space at the Tupelo airport.”

“Patterson is a 2011 Tupelo High School graduate,” Daily Journal reported.

Police wrote, “Update 09-03-2022 @ approximately 08:35 am the plane is reported to be airborne north of Tupelo in the Benton, Union County Area. Local, State and Federal Authorities are continuing to monitor this dangerous situation.”


3. Many Tupelo Residents Posted Video of the Plane Circling Overhead; Patterson Has a Student Pilot Certificate

Patterson has a student pilot’s certificate but can’t fly with passengers, according to the FAA.

Tupelo police released Patterson’s name and photo and confirmed he was taken into custody.

Video showed the plane circling overhead.

Others also shared photos of the plane in the Police Department’s comment thread.


4. The Pilot Called 911

The pilot called 911 to make the plane crash threat, according to Fox 13 Memphis.

Police gave these details in an initial news release:

On 09-03-2022 at approximately 05:00 am TPD was notified that a pilot of an airplane (possibly King Air type) was flying over Tupelo. The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main.

TPD has worked with Wal-Mart West and Dodges on West Main to evacuate the stores and disperse people as much as practical. TPD also has been able to begin talking with the pilot directly.

At this time the situation is ongoing with TPD and all Emergency Services in our area on alert.

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.

More information will be released when appropriate.


5. The Governor Wrote That Authorities Were ‘Closely Tracking This Dangerous Situation’

Governor Tate Reeves tweeted, “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.”

Region 8 news meteorologist Zach Holder wrote on Facebook, “Pilot over Tupelo, MS is threatening to crash his plane into Walmart this morning. Evacs underway. You can’t track him anymore but here’s what his flying looked like. Scary situation to wake up to.”

The governor shared a tweet from SuperTalk Mississippi, which included a graphic showing the plane’s flying pattern as it circled endlessly over Tupelo.

“TPD was notified that a pilot of an airplane (possibly King Air type) was flying over Tupelo. The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main,” that tweet read. “Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given.”

Memphis authorities have not yet released the pilot’s name. The pilot’s motive is also not clear.

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