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Pilot threatens to ‘intentionally crash’ into Mississippi Walmart

A pilot who threatened to intentionally crash right into a Walmart in Tupelo, Mississippi, Saturday morning was taken into custody hours later after landing the plane in a field.

Authorities in Tupelo were notified of the plane, thought to be a King Air type, around 5 a.m. The pilot circled around all night before moving north toward the Benton area, police said in a Facebook update.

A small airplane circles over Tupelo
A little airplane circles over Tupelo, Miss. on Sept. 3, 2022.Rachel McWilliams via AP

The pilot eventually set the aircraft down in Tippah County, just beyond Benton, authorities said.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he was glad the problem was resolved without injuries.

“Many thanks primarily to local, state, and federal police who managed this example with extreme professionalism,” he tweeted.

The Tupelo Police Department said within an earlier news release that officers have been in a position to talk directly with the pilot.

The department had warned residents to evacuate a Walmart and the nearby area. A Walmart spokesperson said the store is closed and fully evacuated.

Local, state and federal agencies, like the Federal Aviation Administration, are monitoring the problem.

It is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Henry Austinis a London-based editor for NBC News Digital.

Minyvonne Burkeis a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.

Courtney Brogle

contributed

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