Week-long manhunt ends in deadly shootout in western Oklahoma

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LEEDEY, Okla. - Michael Dale Vance, Jr., the Oklahoma fugitive who authorities said shot two officers and killed two relatives a week ago, died in a shootout Sunday night, according to the FBI Special Agent Terry Weber.

Officials had been checking out reports of a possible sighting of Vance near Hammon all day.

A perimeter was immediately setup at all north entrances to Ellis County and Dewey County.

Sunday afternoon, authorities say he was spotted but fled from his hiding spot and camp site just north of Hammon.

Michael Vance
Michael Vance

Vance fled in his car but was believed to have been contained within the perimeter, Ellis County Sheriff Shane Booth said.

Around 9:30 p.m., Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander spotted a flatbed truck dragging a chain behind it that was creating sparks in Leedey, Okla.

The sheriff pulled the vehicle over to warn the driver a fire could start due to the sparks.

The shooting suspect, Vance, was inside the truck.

Officials told KFOR crews that Vance reportedly stole the truck somewhere in Leedey.

After being pulled over, officials say Vance got out of the vehicle and shot Sander in the shoulder and arm.

The officer was transported to an Elk City hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander
Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander

Authorities say Vance managed to drive away and led Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers on a short pursuit.

Officials say Vance then engaged in a shootout with OHP troopers in Butler, Okla.

That is when he was shot and killed.

Officials are expected to release more information later today.


Vance had been on the run since allegedly injuring the two officers in Wellston during a shootout on October 23, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

Emergency officials in Lincoln County, northeast of Oklahoma County, said Vance shot and wounded the two officers after they responded a disturbance call. The wounded officers returned fire, striking Vance at least once.

Officer Shawn Stewart and Officer Jim Hampton.
Officer Shawn Stewart and Officer Jim Hampton.

Vance, who was recently charged with child sex abuse, fled in a stolen patrol car. He was believed to be carrying an AK-47.

That evening, investigators believe Vance shot at a woman, injuring her as he stole her Lincoln Town Car.

Authorities later spotted a similar car at a house in Luther. Police found the bodies of Ronald and Valerie Kay Wilkson, who were Vance's relatives.

Both were stabbed and shot. Based on the stab wounds, authorities said the killer apparently tried to behead Ronald and dismember Kay.

Ronald & Kay Wilkson
Ronald & Kay Wilkson

Social media posts

Vance boasted about his crimes on social media, posting videos on Facebook. In one instance, he pointed at a weapon on the floor of his vehicle -- possibly an AK-47 -- and hinted at more violence to come.

Another of Vance's uncles said shortly after the shooting that his nephew may have been plotting the rampage for week.

Vance, who had recently been released from jail, was angry after he was arrested in July on the accusations of child sexual abuse, the uncle told KFOR.

"Everything that was said, it was all a setup," Vance said on Facebook.

Michael Vance
Michael Vance


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