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One Of Injured Wellston Police Officers Back On Job After Being Shot

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Wellston police officers dodged a barrage of bullets and took hits in a gunfight with suspect Michael Vance. Wellston police officers dodged a barrage of bullets and took hits in a gunfight with suspect Michael Vance.
WELLSTON, Oklahoma -

Two Wellston police officers dodged a barrage of bullets and took hits in a gunfight with suspect Michael Vance.

The injuries sidelined their pursuit of justice, but now, nearly a month later, one of those officers is back on the job.

Assistant Chief Jim Hampton made a speedy recovery after a bullet hit him in the foot.

"It's amazing to get back on the job," said Hampton.

He did not ease back into his duties.

Hampton, working a 12-hour overnight shift, explained what it is like to be back on patrol.

"Most of it is calm, routine calls," he said.

The call on Oct. 23 was also considered routine, and that turned into a gunfight.

"We get a lot of shots fired calls in this area and that's how it basically started off a routine call that turned ugly pretty fast," said Hampton.

Authorities said Vance, a convicted felon, turned an AK-47 on Hampton and reserve officer Shaun Stewart when they questioned his access to the firearm.

Hampton was shot and returned fire hitting Vance. Stewart was shot in both legs.

The Wellston police pickups were also hit by bullets and both were totaled.

"It has 18 or 19 bullet holes in it," Hampton said. His pickup also has bullets in the motor and frame of the vehicle.

The patrol vehicles and officers were both out of commission, preventing them from joining the statewide effort to stop Vance in a shooting spree.

Authorities said Vance shot six people and killed two relatives.

After a week-long manhunt, authorities caught up with Vance. He died in a shootout with state troopers.

"Just from my contact with Michael Vance, I knew he wasn't going to go peacefully," Hampton said.

Hampton said he hasn't given Vance much thought since the manhunt came to an end.

"It  will not change how I approach to the job," he said.

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