The pilot of a small plane threatens to crash into a Walmart in Tupelo, Miss. : NPR

The pilot of a small plane has threatened to intentionally crash into a local Walmart in Tupelo, Miss., local authorities said Saturday morning.

In a statement, the Tupelo Police Department said officials first learned about the threat around 5 a.m. local time after the pilot had alerted emergency responders of his or her intentions. The aircraft, which police said is possibly a King Air type, was flying over the northeast region of Mississippi at the time.

“The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main,” police said.

Police officials did not share any details about the identity of the pilot or the pilot’s motive, but they said that they have been speaking with the aviator directly.

The police department said it is working with the nearby Walmart and Dodge’s convenience store to evacuate the area and “disperse people as much as much as practical.”

“Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given,” police said. “With the mobility of an airplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo.”

The Federal Aviation Administration told NPR that the agency is aware of the situation and coordinating with local law enforcement.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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