Police Chief, Witness Recall Vance's Shootout In Wellston
LUTHER, Oklahoma - Almost two days after Michael Vance’s shooting spree, authorities say he is still on the loose. Vance has taken the lives of two family members, shot two Wellston Police Officers, and shot two other random victims. He also carjacked a couple.
The chaos began Sunday evening in Wellston, where people in the small town are hoping he is caught.
Wellston Police Chief Tim Estes says the department has three full-time police officers. Two of them are shot, which leaves him and one part-time officer in training.
“Kind of makes your heart sink,” said Estes. “Our dispatch called me and that’s the first thing said, ‘Man you need to get to the location.’”
Estes remembers driving back from Enid not knowing much information, just that two of his men were shot. Officer Jimmy Hampton, an 6-year veteran of the police force, and Officer Shawn Stewart, an 8-year veteran of the police force, responded to a shots fired call outside of city limits on 3310 Road. The part-time officer was also with them.
Estes said shots fired calls are not uncommon in the area. It seemed like an ordinary call even at first on scene, but then Michael Vance started shooting.
“He just started shooting at everybody,” said witness Michael Cox. He said his neighbor invited Vance to target practice on their properties in the rural area. When police arrived, he said 38-year-old Vance went crazy.
Estes said Vance shot the two officers, striking Stewart in both calves and Hampton in the foot. They are both recovering from their injuries. Everyone else dodged a bullet, but the property is covered in holes.
“He had two guns. He had an automatic .22 jammed on him, then he got the AK,” said Cox. He said he is surprised no one died during Vance’s shooting spree and hopes the suspect is caught.
One of the officers fired back at Vance and struck him, but Vance fled the scene in a patrol car, and continued to his next target.
Estes said law enforcement is determined to capture Vance.
Officials believe Vance is in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse with Oklahoma tag 943-LQQ. He is likely armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees him should call 911.
Law enforcement officials have established a hotline to deal specifically with tips regarding the search for Vance. That hotline number is (405) 246-9205 and will be manned 24/7 by U.S. Marshals.