JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – A Fulton, Missouri man was sentenced in federal court yesterday for his role in firing shots at law enforcement officers and other motorists during a high-speed pursuit by law enforcement.
Russell Dean Moore, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 30 years in federal prison without parole.
On December 13, 2018, Moore plead guilty to one count of the destruction of a motor vehicle (a USF Holland, Inc., semi-tractor trailer), a second count of the destruction of a motor vehicle (a DCE Transportation, Inc., semi-tractor trailer), one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of knowingly possessing a stolen firearm, all alleged in an April 21, 2016, federal indictment.
Boone County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a Columbia, Mo., residence on the afternoon of April 6, 2016, for a stolen vehicle complaint. A woman told deputies that her 2007 Jeep, as well as firearms and other items, had been stolen from her residence. Among the items stolen was a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
At 2:44 a.m. the following morning, a sergeant with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department spotted the stolen Jeep in the parking lot of Midway Travel Center, 6401 E. Hwy. 40, Columbia. The sergeant drove over to the Jeep, which appear to be unoccupied, got out of his vehicle and walked towards the Jeep. As he did so, a woman appeared in the front passenger seat. She moved to the driver’s seat and drove away, stopping in the parking lot to allow Moore to get in the front passenger seat.
The sergeant pursued the Jeep with his emergency lights active. The Jeep turned onto Highway 40 and, as it was crossing Interstate 70, Moore shot at the sergeant multiple times. The Jeep turned onto Highway UU and stopped at the intersection of Sugar Creek Road. The sergeant saw Moore exit the Jeep and started shooting at him. Moore got back into the Jeep and the pursuit continued.
After the sergeant’s patrol vehicle was struck by at least one bullet, disabling it, other officers continued the pursuit of the stolen Jeep into the southern part of Columbia. The chase eventually moved onto Interstate 70 East, where officers continued to pursue the stolen Jeep into Callaway County. 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 Interstate 70, nearly striking one of the drivers.
The Jeep ran out of gas on County Road 172 in Callaway County and the occupants of the Jeep were arrested.
Moore told investigators that his intent when shooting at semi-trailer trucks on Interstate 70 East was to cause a serious accident, which would terminate the officers’ pursuit and aid in their escape. Two tractor trailers were shot during the pursuit. One of the drivers stopped his vehicle and discovered that his cab was damaged, and there was a 9mm bullet lodged behind the driver’s seat. Another driver told investigators he heard a pop and his truck engine began smoking and overheated. He pulled into a rest stop and called his employer. There was a hole in his tractor grill and the radiator, air cooler and condenser were damaged.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.