PICTURED: Pilot, 29, threatening to crash stolen plane into Tupelo, Mississippi Walmart posts ‘farewell’ message to his parents and sister while in the AIR – as police frantically evacuate homes and businesses
- Authorities have evacuated the Walmart store in Mississippi after threats were made by an unidentified pilot
- The 9 seater plane was taken from Tupelo Airport at around 5am and has been flying in circles over the town
- Citizens have been warned to avoid the area until an all clear is given by emergency services
The pilot of the aircraft is understood to have taken the plane from Tupelo Airport at around 5am, and has been flying over the small town in circles for over an hour.
Authorities have evacuated the area and dispersed as many people as possible and are urging locals to stay out of the way.
Tupelo Police Department say they are in contact with the pilot, 29, who is threatening to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane.
Sources confirmed to the Daily Journal that the pilot of the plane may work for a Fixed Base Operator that leases space at Tupelo Regional Airport.
The pilot is understood to have moved away from the Walmart store, with witnesses claiming it is near the Toyota plant in Blue Springs.
In a statement TPD said: ‘At approximately 05:00 am TPD was notified that a pilot of an airplane was flying over Tupelo.
The 9 seater plane was taken from Tupelo Airport at around 5am and has been flying in circles over the town
Tupelo Police Department say they are in contact with the pilot, who is threatening to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane
Sources confirmed to the Daily Journal that the pilot of the plane is an employee of Tupelo Regional Airport, but the motive behind the erratic flying is unclear
‘The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main.
‘TPD has worked with Walmart 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.
‘At this time the situation is ongoing with TPD and all Emergency Services in our area on alert.
‘Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given. With the mobility of an airplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo.’
Authorities have evacuated the area and dispersed as many people as possible and are urging locals to stay out of the way
The pilot has been flying in circles above the town since around 5.30 am and has yet to run out of fuel
The erratic pilot caused sparked an urgent evacuation of homes and buisnesses in the area
Walmart confirmed that they were aware of the incident and working closely with law enforcement
The plane is understood to be owned by Southeast Aviation LLC, and is a nine-seater with two engines.
Governor Tate Reeves said: ‘State law enforcement and emergency managers are closely tracking this dangerous situation.
‘All citizens should be on alert and aware of updates from the Tupelo Police Department.’
A spokesman for Walmart told DailyMail.com: ‘The store is currently closed and evacuated.
‘We’re working closely with local investigators and are referring questions to law enforcement.’
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokesman for FBI’s Jackson field office said: ‘The FBI, in accordance with our state and local partners, are aware of the situation. This is an active and ongoing matter. We will provide additional information as we have it.’