Missouri S&T was on lockdown for more than four hours in May after a high-speed chase that brought an armed man to campus. Pursued by police through Rolla, the gunman stopped his car on the walkway between the Havener Center and McNutt Hall. He then entered McNutt with his AK-47. The man exited the building almost as quickly as he entered, firing no shots and ditching his weapon before fleeing on foot.
The incident began shortly after 8 a.m. May 12 when the gunman, Cody Willcoxson, 31, tried to drive onto the Army base at Fort Leonard Wood, located about 30 miles southwest of Rolla. Willcoxson then sped east on Interstate 44 with police in pursuit. He took the first Rolla exit and, speeding down Kingshighway, led police on a chase through downtown Rolla while firing at his pursuers.
Willcoxson ended up careening north on State Street, driving past the Chancellor’s Residence and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity before stopping his car outside McNutt Hall at about 8:45 a.m.
Missouri S&T officials used the campus’s emergency notification system to notify students, faculty and staff of the lockdown via text, phone and email. Once Willcoxson exited McNutt Hall, he tossed his gun under a parked vehicle on an S&T lot and fled on foot.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol captured Willcoxson around 1 p.m. south of Rolla in a vehicle he had stolen from a residence in Rolla. Soon after Willcoxson’s arrest, Missouri S&T police chief Christine Laughlin lifted the campus lockdown order.
The incident occurred on the Thursday following the end of the semester, so few students were on campus at the time and regular classes were not in session.