US man charged after threat to fly plane into Walmart

A US man who stole a small aeroplane and threatened to fly it into a Walmart shop has been charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats.

The man – named by police as Cory Wayne Patterson – was arrested after landing in a field, having circled near Tupelo, Mississippi, for hours.

The Walmart was evacuated while police spoke to him in mid-air.

The suspect worked at the local airport but was not believed to hold a pilot’s licence, the city’s police said.

However, he is known to have received some flight instruction.

Mr Patterson is alleged to have stolen the Beechcraft King Air twin-engine aircraft shortly after 05:00 local time (10:00 GMT) before taking to the skies.

The small utility craft is capable of seating 10-11 people.

Shortly after taking control of the plane, the suspect phoned 911, saying he was planning to fly into a branch of Walmart.

The threat prompted an evacuation of the building and other nearby shops as officers warned of a “dangerous situation”.


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