MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A man who hijacked a plane and threatened to crash it into a Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, has died in federal custody, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Corey Wayne Patterson, 29, died at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida on Nov. 14. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he was found unresponsive but his cause of death is unknown at this time.
Authorities say on Sept. 3, Patterson had taken off in a Beechcraft King Air 90 from the Tupelo Regional Airport around 5 a.m. local time and circled the air for around five hours. He was the only person on board.
Patterson was employed at the airport for 10 years and responsible for fueling planes, which gave him access to the aircraft.
At one point, a Walmart in Tupelo was evacuated after the pilot threatened to crash the plane into the business, according to the Tupelo Police Department.
Negotiators spoke to Patterson and convinced him not carry out the threat and to land at the airport. Patterson did not have the experience to land and another pilot attempted to coach him through it.
The plane eventually landed in a field near Ashland around 10:30 a.m. and Patterson was arrested. No one was injured during the incident.
The same morning, Patterson posted on his Facebook page what was in essence a goodbye message, according to Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Patterson arrived at the Federal Detention Center in Miami on November 10 under pretrial status.
NewsNation’s J.J. Bullock contributed to this report.