Wellston Police Officers Recovering After Shootout With Manhunt Suspect
WELLSTON, Oklahoma - Two Wellston police officers are recovering from gunshot wounds after a man opened fire on Sunday.
The Wellston Police Department consists of two full-time officers, a reserve officer and a reserve in training.
The officers are humble. All are giving credit to one another for their courage and dedication in making sure they all survived the gun fight with Michael Vance Jr., Sunday night.
"The only thing I could do is yell gun, gun, gun," Alfred Hancock said.
Hancock is a Wellston police reserve officer in training.
In his first week on the job, Hancock proved he didn't need training to know how to help his fellow officers when they came under attack.
Hancock helped his new partners to safety when they were shot by Vance.
"I just did what instinct told me to do and took care of my brothers," said Hancock.
Reserve Officer Shawn Stewart and Officer Jim Hampton said they were shot while responding to what started as a "typical call" for shots fired on 3310 RD.
When they arrived to the home, Michael Vance and a few others were doing target practice. The officers asked if anyone was a convicted felon and that's when Vance allegedly grabbed an AK-47 and unloaded on officers.
"Everything goes through your mind in a time like that," Hampton said. "My main concern was the other officers."
Hampton, a veteran officer, fired back, shooting Vance twice and creating a diversion for his partners to get to safety.
He was then shot in the foot and unable to move.
"You start thinking about your family, everything else flashes through your mind," he said.
Hampton said he went into fight or flight mode, at that point.
The gun battle ensued. Hampton said he started running low on ammunition when he saw Hancock coming back for him.
"At first, I thought of only the shooter and wanted him to go back and let me lay there," said Hampton.
He's grateful for his partners.
"I appreciated him coming to get me but I was ready to fight some more if I had to," said Hampton.
The only fight now is for the officers to recover and get back on the job.
Hampton hopes its soon.
It could be awhile for Officer Shawn Stewart. He took shots to both of his legs.
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.