Cory Patterson: Man who threatened to crash plane into Walmart found dead in federal custody

Cory Patterson was indicted on federal charges of destruction of an aircraft and threats involving destruction of aircraft

Cory Patterson: Man who threatened to crash plane into Walmart found dead in federal custody
Cory Patterson worked at the Tupelo Regional Airport (Tupelo Police Department)
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JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: A man who threatened to crash a plane into a Walmart has died in federal custody. Cory Wayne Patterson was found unresponsive while awaiting trial on Monday, November 14, according to the US Bureau of Prisons in a statement. Patterson stole a twin-engine plane from the Tupelo Regional Airport on September 3 and threatened to crash it into the departmental store on West Main Street.

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“Responding staff immediately initiated life-saving measures,” the statement said. “Staff requested emergency medical services ... and life-saving efforts continued. Mr Patterson was subsequently pronounced deceased by the emergency responders."

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The cause of his death is yet to be revealed. Patterson had arrived at the prison in Miami on Thursday. He was from Shannon, Mississippi.

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On Seprember 3, Patterson was arrested after he landed the plane in a field in Tippah County after circling the plane for five hours. He worked at the Tuoelo airport and had a job fueling planes. According to the police reports, the 29-year-old was jailed on state charges of grand larceny and making terrorist threats. He was later indicted on federal charges of destruction of an aircraft and threats involving destruction of aircraft. Conviction on the first charge would have carried up to 20 years in prison and the second would have carried up to five years. His attorney had requested a psychological evaluation.

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Patterson was apparently sick of living, according to a handwritten note from him that an FBI agent testified was found in the plane. “I picked Walmart because it would be quick and easy to evacuate. I am not interested in hurting anyone,” the note said, according to NBC News. Patterson also claimed that Walmart pays workers low wages despite being owned by billionaires. He dialed 911 during the hijack and urged the emergency operator to get the store evacuated as per the court records. 

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