OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma state trooper fired dozens of rounds from an automatic rifle through the windshield of his cruiser at a fugitive as the two sped down a rural western Oklahoma roadway in a dramatic shootout depicted on videos released on Tuesday.
The fierce gun battle late Sunday between troopers and 38-year-old Michael Dale Vance Jr. was captured on videos from two dashboard-mounted cameras in patrol cars and from a helicopter that was following the chase overhead.
Vance, wanted for the killings of two relatives and the shootings of three law enforcement officers, was killed in the shootout on a county road near the town of Leedey, about 130 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.
“Michael Vance was our worst-case scenario,” said Michael Thompson, Oklahoma’s commissioner of public safety. “He was a determined, violent criminal with no regard for public safety, no regard for public life, and he had nothing to lose.”
The videos show Vance, driving a stolen flat-bed pickup truck, careen through a roadblock as troopers fired at his vehicle. Several troopers then joined in the chase, firing at Vance, who was returning fire with an assault rifle loaded with two, 30-round magazines.
At the end of the chase, Vance exited the truck he was driving and used it as cover as he fired several shots while the vehicle rolled toward the officers.
About 30 seconds after he exits the vehicle, Vance can be seen collapsing onto the roadway while troopers continue to return fire.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol investigators say five troopers who fired their weapons during the incident have been placed on routine administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.
Vance was wanted for a string of violent crimes, including the shooting of two Wellston police officers and the killing of two relatives near Luther, and he posted two videos to Facebook Live during a week on the run from police.
Three people have been arrested and are facing felony charges for helping Vance evade capture.
Authorities launched a statewide manhunt for Vance, but there were no reported sightings of him for nearly a week when a farmer near the town of Hammon spotted a vehicle Vance was known to be driving in a wooded area where Vance had been camping.
As the manhunt intensified, authorities believe Vance stole a farm truck and engaged in a gunfight with Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander after the sheriff stopped the truck to warn the driver that it was dragging a chain.
Vance was spotted in the truck a short time later, and the chase ensued.