A small plane pilot circled Tupelo, Mississippi erratically for hours Saturday morning and threatened to crash into a Walmart store.
Strange incidents began occurring around 5 a.m. and police say the pilot called 911 and was in contact, although details are unknown.
Authorities evacuated a building on Tupelo’s West Main Street as a twin-engine turboprop plane looped overhead, but police warned the situation could escalate quickly.
“Citizens are asked to avoid the area until all is cleared. With the maneuverability of that type of plane, the danger zone is much wider than Tupelo,” police said in a statement.
Around 9:00 am, the plane was again seen leaving Tupelo airspace and heading northwest, circling over various towns.
FlightAware data indicated that the aircraft in question was a Beechcraft King Air 90 turboprop owned by a local urologist, although there were also reports that it was stolen from Tupelo Airport.Tupelo diary The suspect’s complaint is unclear, but the pilot reported that he was believed to be working at the airport.
“State law enforcement and emergency managers are closely following this dangerous situation,” Governor Tate Reeves said in a statement. “All citizens should stay vigilant and stay alert for updates from the Tupelo Police Department.”