Rogue aircraft lands, pilot arrested after threatening to crash into Mississippi Walmart

A pilot of a small plane over Tupelo, Mississippi, was detained after threatening to crash into a nearby Walmart on Saturday, police confirmed to Axios.

Latest: “The plane crashed and has landed. Subject is in custody,” an official at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office told Axios.

Driving news: The plane started circling the city around 5 in the morning, Tupelo, Miss, Police Department said in a Facebook post. The cops were able to talk to the pilot as he circled the city.

  • It plane circled in some communities in northeastern Mississippi, WTVA report.
  • CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean said the plane was also seen flying over Holly Springs National Forest, which covers large swaths of the northeast and north central Mississippi, including near the area where the plane is believed to have crashed.

Details: Police said the pilot initially threatened to “deliberately crash into a Wal-Mart on West Main,” police said.

  • Walmart stores are located near a range of other businesses, including convenience stores, car washes, and more.
  • Walmart shoppers and staff were evacuated and people had moved out of the area, the TPD said.

Context: Police said the plane was probably a King Air type, which can accommodate seven to 12 passengers Washington Post report.

  • CNN’s Muntean said in the air that this type of plane has a window of four to six hours before running out of gas.
  • TPD, Tupelo airport and the Mississippi Department of Safety did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Axios.

What they say: “State law enforcement and emergency managers are tracking this dangerous situation,” reeves said on Twitter. “All citizens should be alert and aware of updates from the Tupelo Police Department.”

What we watched: Discussions between the pilot and the TPD began Saturday morning.

  • “Residents are asked to avoid the area until everything is clear. With the mobility of this type of aircraft, the danger zone is much bigger than the Tupelo,” said TPD.

This is the latest news and will be updated.

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