Wellston Community Helps With Injured Police Officers’ Medical Bills
WELLSTON, Oklahoma - The Wellston community is rallying around the two police officers who were shot by Michael Vance six weeks ago. They held a fundraiser Sunday to help pay for the officers’ medical bills.
Locals donated baked goods, Walmart contributed a bike and the Oklahoma City Thunder chipped in with game tickets, a signed basketball and signed T-shirts for an auction for assistant chief Jim Hampton and officer Shaun Stewart.
“Over the years we’ve had many benefit auctions for people who have had fires, that have lost their home, people that have had cancer, and it’s amazing how this community comes together,” Wellston-native and auctioneer Ronald Whitnah said.
The small town has also raised thousands of dollars for the family of Ronnie and Kay Wilkson, a Luther couple killed during Vance's crime spree, leading to a week-long manhunt.
Hampton, who was shot in the foot, is already back at work, eager to protect the community from people like Vance.
Stewart is back on his feet now after being shot in the leg, but still has about six weeks of rehab before he can start patrolling again.
“He’s getting along,” said Whitnah. “He’s got four kiddos and they’re helping old Dad out there and he’s got a good wife, too.”
The patrol vehicles each officer was driving the night of Oct. 23 are still at the police station, each displaying bullet holes as a constant reminder of the shootout. The officers said they look forward to life returning to normal.