PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (May 12, 2011) — A man who led police on a two-county high-speed chase through Fort Leonard Wood, St. Robert and Rolla has been charged with felonies that could put him in jail for at least 37 years, according to Pulaski County Prosecutor Kevin Hillman.
The most serious local charges against Cody Willcoxson, 31, of South West City, accuse him of shooting and hitting the police car of St. Robert Police Chief Curtis Curenton while using a pistol and an AK-47 to fire out of his moving vehicle while driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph.
Additional state charges are expected out of Phelps County and federal charges from Fort Leonard Wood. Willcoxson is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond based on the Pulaski County charge of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, a Class A felony; resisting a lawful stop, a Class D felony; and an unclassified felony of armed criminal action.
The incident began on Fort Leonard Wood about 8:30 a.m., continued through Rolla, and eventually ended south of Rolla on Highway 63.
According to Fort Leonard Wood personnel, a Department of the Army civilian police officer at the post’s West Gate attempted to stop Willcoxson for additional scrutiny.
“The driver did not comply and continued driving through the west gate toward post at a high rate of speed and was pursued by military police through a section of the post,” according to a post spokesman. “The individual was on the installation for less than three minutes.”
Willcoxson exited through the main gate to Missouri Avenue at a high rate of speed, at which time St. Robert police took over the chase; post personnel subsequently increased security on the installation as well as at all gates. Off post, the Waynesville school district, Pulaski County Courthouse, and other organizations implemented a lockdown due the gunman being at large.
Law enforcement records show that Willcoxson fired a pistol at a St. Robert officer at 8:36 a.m. while driving eastbound at mile marker 164 on Interstate 44, continuing to fire out the back of his car for at least six miles. By 8:41 a.m., St. Robert police reported that an AK-47 was being stuck out the window with shots fired, and shooting continued through mile marker 182 in Rolla.
Willcoxson got off Interstate 44 at Exit 184, continued shooting while driving down Kingshighway, and crashed his car at 8:50 a.m., fleeing on foot and entering buildings at Missouri University of Science and Technology, leading to another lockdown of university buildings.
Phelps County deputies located the AK-47 at 9:30 a.m. but Willcoxson was reported to have stolen a silvery gray Ford Taurus at 9:30 a.m. after kicking in a door.
Numerous additional law enforcement agencies in Pulaski County including Waynesville and Dixon implemented emergency procedures and staged officers to intercept the vehicle. However, Willcoxson was finally located on Highway 63 south of Rolla and arrested at 1 p.m.
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THIS ARTICLE: AK-47 shooter faces $1 million cash-only bond, 37 years in prison
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