Oklahoma sheriff on the road to recovery after being shot during gun battle with dangerous fugitive

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ELK CITY, Okla. - The sheriff who was shot during a confrontation Sunday night with Michael Vance is on the road to recovery.

Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander remains in the Great Plains Regional Medical Center in Elk City.

Friends, family and colleagues of Sander said they are thankful he survived a dangerous gun battle.

“Police officers are dedicated to what they do, and it’s not just a rush of adrenaline. It’s protecting the respective citizens of their city or county, and they put their lives on the line everyday, and Clay did that tonight,” said Beckham County Sheriff Scott Jay. “We’re a brotherhood, and we stick together and it hurts. I’m thankful for tonight that Clay, who's a great guy, he’s a great guy - I’m just glad that he’s going to be okay."

U.S. Marshals report Sander pulled over a stolen truck driven by Vance around 9:30 Sunday night in western Oklahoma, near Leedey.

At that moment, a gun battle erupted.

Sander was shot twice in the arm.

Friends and family were panicked when they heard the news but were relieved to hear Sander was alive and going to make a full recovery.

“Everybody’s okay. I think, after they showed up and knew he was going to be okay, they’re relieved. We just want to do what’s best for Clay now and do whatever we can to help him, because he’s going to have a long road to heal, but he’s going to be okay,” Jay said.

Positive news some Elk City residents were happy to hear.

“If he’s listening, keep fighting and you’ll get back on your feet soon," said Faron Buttry, Elk City resident.

For the past week, the State of Oklahoma has been on edge with Vance on the run.

“People were nervous whether he was still in this area, whether he went back to central Oklahoma. Nobody knew. He went dark. We had theories, but everyone can rest easy now and sleep a little easier tonight,” Jay said.

A dangerous search that ended with an accused killer off the streets for good.

“Give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done, because this man was a dangerous man,” Buttry said.


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