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Pilot threatening to crash plane into Mississippi Walmart

The pilot of a small airplane has threatened to crash the aircraft into a Walmart in Mississippi, police said. Authorities have evacuated the Walmart and a nearby convenience store in Tupelo because of the threat.

At around 5 a.m. on Saturday, the Tupelo Police Department was notified that the pilot of a small airplane contacted 911 and threatened to “intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main.”

The Tupelo Police Department said in a Facebook post that the threat is real and is a “dangerous situation.”

Members of the Tupelo Police Department have been in direct contact with the pilot.

“At this time the situation is ongoing with TPD and all Emergency Services in our area on alert,” the Tupelo Police Department said. “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.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves wrote on Twitter, “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.”

FlightAware shows that the pilot is flying erratically.

u201cTPD was notified that a pilot of an airplane (possibly King Air type) was flying over Tupelo. The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main.nnCitizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given.u201d

— SuperTalk Mississippi (@SuperTalk Mississippi)

u201cThe current flight history of the plane over Walmart #Mississippiu201d

— Jon Nicosia (@Jon Nicosia)

The Daily Journal reported that the plane is a 1987 Beech C90A – which is a fixed wing, twin-engine aircraft with nine seats. The owner of the plane is allegedly Southeast Aviation out of Oxford, Mississippi.

The plane reportedly has a maximum fuel life of four hours.

According to the Daily Journal, “Multiple law enforcement, airport, and local authorities have identified the subject as Cory Patterson of Shannon.”

Leslie Criss – a magazine editor who lives in Tupelo – told The Associated Press, “I’ve never seen anything like this in this town. It’s a scary way to wake up on a Saturday morning.”

Video shows the airplane circling over Tupelo.

u201cNew video – Plane has been flying in circles for 45 minutes around Tupelo.nPilot threatening to #crash plane into #Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, police say.nAll #emergency services have been put on alert.nn#Tupelo #Mississippi #US #Breakingu201d

— Chaudhary Parvez (@Chaudhary Parvez)

u201cBREAKING: Tupelo, Mississippi police fear the pilot at the controls of this plane is threatening to fly it into a Walmart. Evacuations are underway.u201d

— Griffin Frank (@Griffin Frank)

u201cPictures and video online show a small, twin engine plane, erratically flying over Tupelo, Miss.u2014about 100 miles southeast of Memphisu2014after calling police and threatening to crash into a Walmart. nn@FOX13Memphisu201d

— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai Turner)

The Federal Aviation Administration told ABC News that they are aware of the situation and are coordinating with local law enforcement.

A spokesperson for the 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.”

An official with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said that the Mississippi Bureau of Information is working to assist local and federal authorities.

This is a developing story and will be updated.