A Missouri couple face federal gun charges following a crime spree that included fleeing from law enforcement and firing on passing semi-trucks in an attempt to cause a crash and evade police custody.
Russell Deane Moore, Jr., 25, of Fulton, and Victoria Ann Buol, 24, of Boonville, were charged in separate but related criminal complaints filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., on Thursday, April 7, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Missouri.
The couple were arrested outside of Columbia, Mo., on April 7, following a police chase in which the pair allegedly opened fire on law enforcement who were in pursuit, as well as on four tractor-trailers on Interstate 70, nearly hitting at least one driver.
The federal criminal complaints charge Moore with being a felon in possession of a firearm and Buol with possessing a stolen firearm. A stolen Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol was reportedly found in the defendants’ possession following their arrest.
According to affidavits filed in support of the criminal complaints, a Columbia woman reported on Wednesday, April 6, that her Jeep had been stolen from her residence as had other items and firearms, including the aforementioned pistol.
At approximately 2:44 a.m. on Thursday, a Boone County deputy sheriff saw the stolen Jeep pull into the Midway Travel Center, 6401 E. Hwy. 40, Columbia. The Jeep appeared to be unoccupied, the affidavit says, but as the deputy approached, he reportedly saw Buol move from the front passenger seat into the driver’s seat. She drove away from the deputy, the affidavit says, stopping in the parking lot to pick up Moore, who got into the front passenger’s seat.
The news release states that the deputy pursued the Jeep with his emergency lights activated. The Jeep turned onto Highway 40 and, as it was crossing Interstate 70, Moore allegedly shot at the deputy multiple times. The Jeep turned onto Highway UU and stopped at the intersection of Sugar Creek Road. Moore got out of the Jeep and started shooting at the deputy, the affidavit says, then got back into the Jeep and the pursuit continued.
Eventually the deputy’s patrol vehicle was disabled by gunfire. By that time, other officers had joined and pursued the Jeep into the southern part of Columbia. The chase eventually moved onto eastbound I-70, and into nearby Callaway County. The affidavit states that throughout the pursuit, multiple shots were fired from the Jeep at various officers. Shots were also fired from the Jeep at four semi-trailer trucks traveling on I-70.
According to the affidavit, Moore and Buol later told investigators that they fired at the semi-trailer trucks in an effort to cause a serious accident, which would terminate officers’ pursuit of them and aid in their escape. The pursuit finally ended when the Jeep ran out of gas on County Road 172 in Callaway County. Buol allegedly threw out the pistol from the front passenger seat, the affidavit says, and the pair was arrested.
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