|Cody Nathaniel Willcoxson|
A man from Southwest City is behind bars in Phelps County in connection to a shooting incident involving law enforcers from several agencies following a brief security breach at Fort Leonard Wood and a scare at a nearby university.
Authorities say it all started about 8:36 a.m. when Cody N. Willcoxson tried to get on to the army base through the west gate this morning but was refused entrance because he did not have the proper credentials. When military police instructed Willcoxson to turn around and exit the post he floored it and led MP's on a chase through the base and exited through the main gate.
As Pulaski County Sheriff's deputies and officers with the the St. Roberts and Rolla police departments pursued Willcoxson eastbound on I-44 he fired shots from an Ak-47 at them from a grey vehicle.
He led authorities to the S & T campus where at approximately 8:45 a.m he ran into McNutt Hall with a rifle. The hall houses the Mining and Nuclear Engineering department, classrooms, offices and labs. An Ak-47 was found outside the building after Willcoxson fled the scene.
|Law enforcers surround Willcoxson's car on S & T campus|
The school went on lockdown around 9 a.m. and used it's website and text messaging to keep students and faculty updated and says no shots were fired on the campus. The school officially lifted the lockdown about 1:40 p.m.
Rolla police said a few minutes later the suspect broke into a residence in the 1000 block of Crinoidal Ct and demanded the keys to the resident's car and stole it.
A Highway Patrol trooper spotted the suspects vehicle south of Rolla and after a short pursuit,Willcoxson stopped the vehicle and was taken into custody. He suffered minor cuts, likely from broken glass when he shot out his car windows. No one else was injured in the spree.
|Willcoxson being taken into custody|
He was released from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in 2008 after serving about 3 1/2 years for burglary. While he was serving time authorities say he masterminded at least two jail escapes; one involved nine inmates and Willcoxson eluded authorities for 3 years following one of the escapes.
Missouri S&T issued a press release that said the gunman went inside McNutt Hall on the Rolla campus. The hall houses classrooms, offices and labs.
According to a notice posted on Missouri S&T's website, no shots were fired on campus and no one was injured.
Missouri S&T gunman search -
More than 150 officers were involved in apprehending Willcoxson.
Willcoxon is facing numerous firearms, assault of law enforcement officer charges and resisting arrest in at least two counties. He was also allegedly in possession of methamphetamine when he was apprehended.
He is being held on a $1 Million dollar cash only bond.
*********UPDATE 05-13-11- Authorities now believe that Willcoxson made a wrong turn and was lost when he arrived at Fort Leonard Wood and panicked not wanting to be found in possession of the firearm because he is a convicted felon.
Willcoxson will probably be federally charged as a felon in possession of a firearm.