The threat of a plane’s pilot intentionally crashing a small aircraft into a Mississippi Wal-Mart Saturday sent people into fear and shock–especially those in the area.
By Saturday afternoon, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves tweeted that the plane, which had been circling the northern part of the state, was down without incident.
According to CBS News, the pilot, named Cory Wayne Patterson had been arrested and charged with grand larceny and making terroristic threats.
The 29-year-old is reportedly not a pilot, does not have a pilot’s license, nor does he have experience landing a plane. He was able to get access to the plane, a Beechcraft King Air C90A, because Patterson has reportedly been working at an airport in Tupelo refueling planes for the last decade.
Patterson reportedly snuck into the Beechcraft at 5 a.m., while the air traffic control tower was unmanned and took off.
Twenty minutes later, authorities say Patterson called 911 to make them aware of his hellish plan. As a result, streets were closed and the Walmart was evacuated.
On Facebook, the Tupelo Police Department kept the public aware of the situation.
“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,” police said.
Patterson was in the air for more than five hours before police were able to safely talk him down.
While he was in the aircraft, Patterson uploaded a now-deleted Facebook post, saying, “Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye.”
Then the plane started running low on gas.
A private pilot was able to tell Patterson how to land the plane about 30 minutes later in a field near Riley, Mississippi.
Fox News reports Patterson may also face federal charges.