The Mississippi man who police say stole a plane and threatened to crash it into a local Walmart has died while in federal custody.
Cory Patterson, 29, a former employee for Tupelo Aviation, located at the city’s regional airport, was charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats after the incident on Sept. 3. Police accused Patterson of stealing a small plane that was at the Tupelo Regional Airport and threatening to crash a local Walmart.
Patterson also faced federal charges including destruction of aircraft and threats involving the destruction of aircraft, according to an affidavit.
In a statement, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said that Patterson died on Monday at 1:20 p.m. Staff attempted to save his life, but Patterson was later pronounced dead.
“On Monday, November 14, 2022, at approximately 1:20 p.m., inmate Cory Patterson was found unresponsive at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) Miami in Miami, Florida. Responding staff immediately initiated life-saving measures. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. Mr. Patterson was subsequently pronounced deceased by EMS personnel,” the statement reads. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Marshals Service were notified. No staff or other inmates were injured and at no time was the public in danger.”
Patterson was in pretrial detention at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida, at the time of his death.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons didn’t release any further details about Patterson’s death.
Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka told reporters on Sept. 3 that Patterson likely committed a “crime of opportunity,” adding that he probably wasn’t involved in a “major security breach.”
Quaka said that Patterson was a “lineman” refueling aircraft. He allegedly stole a Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engine airplane at the Tupelo Regional Airport at 5:08 a.m.
“The pilot [Patterson] did not have experience to land an aircraft. A private pilot assisted us” Quaka said.
Patterson later crash landed in a field located in Northeast Mississippi. He was uninjured.