Lockdown at Missouri university lifted as police apprehend suspected gunman

Friday, May 13, 2011

A photo of the suspect, Cody Nathaniel Willcoxon, who has been taken into police custody.
Image: Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

A suspected gunman has been taken into custody today after a university in Missouri, U.S. was locked down when he entered the campus with an AK-47 assault rifle. Cody Nathaniel Willcoxon reportedly arrived at Missouri University of Science and Technology around 9:00 a.m. CDT (14:00 UTC) Thursday morning after shooting at officers in a police chase.

Officials say no one has been injured after Willcoxon—described as a Caucasian male with sandy blonde hair—entered McNutt Hall, a building on the campus. He had earlier escaped from police custody at Fort Leonard Wood while being questioned by military police when trying to enter the property and was then pursued by authorities along Interstate 44. The gunman began shooting at police while driving, exiting the interstate at Rolla, Missouri. Willcoxon reportedly stopped near a university building and fled on foot, before stealing a Ford Taurus from a residence near the school.

No shots were fired on campus, say authorities, and no one was injured. The school sent emergency alerts to its students and faculty as a result of the incident. Law enforcement officials told students to stay inside their buildings until the lockdown was lifted and were not allowing anyone to enter the campus. Police were seen retrieving several items, including weapons, from a vehicle on the school campus.

Willcoxon was apprehended by authorities around 1:00 p.m. CDT and the lockdown was subsequently lifted.