May 12, 2011 -- Missouri police have captured a gunman who allegedly engaged in a shootout with law enforcement officers and spurred a nearly five-hour manhunt after entering a Missouri Army post and nearby university campus early this morning.
Suspect Cody Nathaniel Willcoxson is in custody and suffering from a wound to his arm, police said. The 31-year-old man faces four felony charges of assault on law enforcement and will be held on $1 million dollar bond, Rolla, Missouri, Police Chief Mark Kearse said.
"This is just a great relief for law enforcement and the public at large. We're very thankful," Kearse said.
Willcoxson allegedly attempted to enter Fort Leonard Wood near Waynesville, Mo., at around 8:30 a.m. CT, a spokesperson for the post said. When security asked the man to stop at the gate and submit to further inspection, authorities say he refused to do so.
"The driver chose not to do the right thing and continued driving through the west gate toward the main (north) gate on post where he was pursued by military police at Fort Leonard Wood to the point where the vehicle exited the installation through the main gate. The individual was on the installation for less than five minutes," read a statement from officials at the Army post.
After exiting, the suspect continued to evade authorities, driving down I-44 and allegedly firing on police with an AK-47 assault rifle. Police set up spike strips on the highway, prompting the suspect to exit the highway and enter the college town of Rolla, the home of the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
"The suspect then began shooting at the Rolla Police Officers and members of the County Sheriff's department as they pursued him," Kearse said at an earlier press conference. "The suspect drove through several neighborhoods in the area and continued shooting at officers."
Police said the suspect then jumped out of the car and stole a 2003 Ford Taurus.
A scant blood trail was left from where the man jumped out of the car and into the grey Taurus, police said. At least one car was riddled with bullet holes, and police later found drugs that appeared to be crystal meth in the car the suspect's was initially driving.
The man ran into McNutt Hall on the university campus.
University officials said the man fired shots near the campus, but not on the campus, and the campus remained on lockdown throughout the morning.
Willcoxson previously served three-and-a-half years in an Oklahoma prison for burglary, escaping from jail, and other felonies, the Associated Press reported.
There are no reports of injuries at the Army post or the university campus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.