Troopers Honored For Role In Michael Vance Take Down

Wednesday, March 29th 2017, 7:27 pm
By: News 9

The team that helped find fugitive Michael Vance and end his deadly crime spree were among several honored at a luncheon on Wednesday.

Numerous members of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Highway Patrol were honored at the 48th Annual Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Awards luncheon held at the Quail Creek Country Club.

"For all of us to come out of that alive is miracle in itself for sure," said Brian Costanza, the OHP trooper who got into a gun battle with Vance.

Dashcam video showed Costanza chasing Vance in his patrol car, while dodging bullets and firing his rifle out the front dash window.

He credits God for keeping him alive that fateful day in October.

"If it wasn't for Him, he wouldn't, I wouldn't be here," said Costanza.

Capt. Brian Sturgill and trooper Cole Patterson were in the helicopter above tracking Vance and filming his movements.

They had only had two minutes of fuel remaining when the firefight ensued.

"We knew it was going to end badly," said Sturgill. "Michael Vance showed no regard for himself or anyone else."

Trooper Danny Long was also honored for providing much of the intelligence during the week-long manhunt for Vance.

Also honored were the three dispatchers who gave the team up-to-date information as to Vance's whereabouts and movement during the tense operation.

In all, more than a dozen members of the OHP and DPS were honored for their role in bringing the deadly crime spree to an end.

"Thankfully, no one on our side was injured or hurt," said Sturgill.

Also honored was Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander, who was shot by Vance while trying to pull him over. 

He was shot three times; one bullet fragment grazed his head and two other bullets hit his left arm.