- A pilot threatened to crash a stolen aircraft into a Walmart store in a Mississippi city
- He crash-landed the plane in a field after running out of fuel, Tupelo police said
- He was taken into police custody. There was no smoke or injuries reported initially
US: A pilot who had threatened to crash a stolen aircraft into a Walmart store in a Mississippi city on Saturday crash-landed the plane in a field after running out of fuel, Tupelo police said. He was taken into police custody. There was no smoke or injuries reported initially.
The store earlier has been evacuated, they said. The plane started circling at about 5 a.m. and was still in the air more than three hours later.
Authorities said they have made contact with the pilot directly, who is threatening to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane.
“Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given," the police wrote. “With the mobility of an aeroplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo.”
News agency BNO had shared a video of the small aircraft in the air in the Mississippi city. Law enforcement told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal shortly after 8 a.m. that the plane had left the airspace around Tupelo and was flying near a Toyota manufacturing plant in nearby Blue Springs.
Multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, is now involved in the investigation and are working to discern a motive, the people said.
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Investigators were continuing to monitor the flight’s path and have been in communication with the pilot, the people said.
An online flight tracking service showed the plane meandering in the sky and following a looping path.
“State law enforcement and emergency managers are closely tracking this dangerous situation,” Gov. Tate Reeve s wrote on Twitter. “All citizens should be on alert and aware of updates from the Tupelo Police Department.”
(with inputs from agencies)