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Manhunt underway for double-murder suspect in Oklahoma

🕐 5 min read

An “armed and dangerous” man has been the subject of a statewide manhunt in Oklahoma following an overnight shooting rampage during which several people – including two police officers – were shot and wounded and two of the suspects’s relatives were killed.

Police said Michael Dale Vance Jr., 38, is wanted on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and one count of possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma County.

Two Wellston, Oklahoma, police officers responded to a disturbance call about 6:30 p.m. Sunday in Lincoln County, not far from Oklahoma City, police said. While the officers were questioning suspects Vance and Tony Heavner, the two men opened fire on the officers, striking them in their lower extremities, according to court documents.

Lincoln County Sheriff Charles Dougherty told reporters at a news conference that a suspect “came out with an AK-47 and just opened fire on everybody.”

Wellston officers returned fire, police said.

The two officers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from the hospital Sunday night, a Lincoln County dispatcher told The Washington Post.

The officers were identified in documents as Sean Stewart and Jimmy Hampton, however a Lincoln County official said Stewart’s first name is spelled Shawn.

Police said Heavner was taken into custody shortly after the incident.

Vance, who was shot an unknown number of times, fled from the Wellston area in a patrol vehicle, police said. During the getaway, he apparently appeared in two Facebook Live videos, wearing a backward baseball cap and a bloodstained T-shirt, saying that he was in pain and talking about his plans, according to the court documents.

CBS affiliate KWTV-News9 posted two videos Monday morning.

“This is more intense than what I thought it was going to be, to say the least,” the man said in the first video. “This truck is about dead. I need it to get out of the road, which I hope it does, cause I’m about to steal another car, like right now. This s- is going to be intense.

“Watch this, people.”

In a second video, the man, identified by the station as Vance, appears to be filming from a different car.

“What’s up, y’all? Letting y’all know, look, this is real,” he said, then showing what appears to be a rifle stretched across the passenger seat. “That’s the real deal. It ain’t a joke. This ain’t a prank.”

He seemed to be discussing some family-related circumstances.

“This is the interesting part – this is where it gets interesting,” he said. “If you want to know what’s next, stay tuned to your local news.”

Authorities believe Vance is also connected to a nearby carjacking in which a woman was shot and wounded and her Lincoln Towncar was stolen, according to the court records.

Hours after the shootout with police, authorities spotted the car at a residence in Luther, about six miles from the initial shooting, according to the documents and Mark Opgrande, a spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

A tactical team was sent to take Vance into custody but, during preparations, police discovered a body outside the home, then another body inside, according to the documents.

The victims were identified in court documents as Ronald and Valerie Kay Wilkson.

Opgrande said the victims were related to Vance but did not give further details.

Inside the home, investigators found shell casings from bullets commonly used in an AK-47, as well as a pink T-shirt believed to be the one Vance was wearing in the videos after the shootout with police, according to the court documents.

Police said it appeared Ronald Wilkson had been shot and both victims had been stabbed numerous times.

“Wounds were found on R. Wilkson consistent with an attempt to sever his head. Investigators witnessed a large cut on Wilkson’s neck,” according to the documents. “During the examination of V. Wilkson multiple stab wounds were observed as well as what investigators believe to be defensive wounds on the arms of V. Wilkson. V. Wilkson too had a large cut on the side of her neck similar to the wound witnessed on R. Wilkson.

“Additionally, investigators also noticed a large cut in the arm/shoulder area of V. Wilkson. The size and depth of this cut led investigators to believe that Vance was trying to remove V. Wilkson’s arm.”

Court documents said relatives told police that Valerie Wilkson’s Mitsubishi Eclipse was missing.

Early Monday morning, an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent alerted local authorities that a man suspected to be Vance had shot a convenience store clerk in Sayre, Oklahoma, near the Texas panhandle.

The woman sustained two gunshot wounds to the leg, according to the court records.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office have continued a day-long search for Vance, whom authorities believe is possibly armed with an AK-47, as the school district in Luther was placed on lockdown.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office told KWTV-News9 that investigators believed Vance may have returned to the area.

On July 22, Vance was charged with child sexual abuse after former felony convictions, according to the court documents.

On Monday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol released a wanted poster for Vance, who is described as a 5-foot-11 and 212 pounds. The poster adds that Vance “has [a] medical condition and may try to spread disease.”

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting of the two officers in Lincoln County and the shooting in Sayre in Beckham County.

Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service said the agency is assisting in the fugitive investigation. The FBI could not immediately be reached for comment.

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