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Oklahoma's First "Blue Alert" Manhunt Ends in Fugitive's Death

31-Oct-2016

After six days on the run, murder suspect Michael Vance was spotted still within the borders of Oklahoma. Law enforcement swept in on Vance, and the fugitive was killed in a shootout with Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers.

According to reports, Vance was a suspect in a child sexual assault case involving a 15-year-old girl. Vance claimed he was "set up," and created a hit list of at least 8 people, including those related to the sex abuse case and a former boss who fired him.
Last Sunday, police in Wellston responding to a "shots fired" call discovered a group of people displaying weapons in the back of a pickup. When officers asked the group members for identification, Vance reportedly started firing, using others in the crowd as human shields while he shot two Wellston police officers. Both officers were expected to make a full recovery. Vance himself was injured in the shootout.

Vance then fled the scene in a police pickup before driving to a nearby trailer park and carjacking a vehicle from a couple there. He reportedly fired a weapon at one of the trailers, and shrapnel from the shot injured a woman inside.

After fleeing in the stolen car, Vance reportedly drove to Luther to the home of relatives there. In Luther, he savagely killed his relatives, Ronald Wilkson and Valerie Kay Wilkson, before stealing their car.

After the shooting of the officers and the murders of the Wilksons, police issued the state's first "Blue Alert," designed to help apprehend people suspected of shooting law enforcement officers. The Blue Alert system was not intended to begin until November 1, but because of the seriousness of the allegations against Vance, state officials launched the system early.

Until last night, the most recent spotting of Vance was early Monday morning, when the fugitive attempted to steal an RV in Sayre, shooting the vehicle's owner in the leg. Vance was unable to gain entrance to the RV and fled again.

After that, the trail went cold until last night, when a farmer reported seeing Vance camping near the Washita River in Hammon. The sighting apparently spooked Vance, who fled the campsite in another stolen vehicle.

At around 10:00 p.m., Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander attempted to pull over a vehicle dragging a chain in Leedey, not realizing that Michael Vance was inside. Vance exited the vehicle and shot the Sheriff in the arm and shoulder. The sheriff's injuries are reported not to be life threatening. 

After the shooting of Sheriff Sander, law enforcement began a chase of Vance, which ended about a mile west of Butler. Vance engaged in another shootout, this time with Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers, who fired the fatal shot that killed the fugitive.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Ricky Adams called the incident "pretty dramatic," and said his agency and other law enforcement agencies across the state worked hard to prevent Vance from harming anyone else.


 

 



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