The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the investigation into a shooting spree last week that left two dead and at least four more injured is still wide open.
At a press conference Tuesday, the OHP released footage of the final interaction between Michael Vance and five state troopers. Chief of Patrol Rick Adams says the suspect fought until the very end during Sunday evening’s gunfight in Custer County.
“This individual actually got out of his vehicle, got in front of his car and let the vehicle roll backward toward the officers that are stopped shooting at him, and advanced on it, using the vehicle for cover like if it were a tank. This man had every intention of taking officers with him,” Adams said.
Warning: Graphic helicopter and dashcam footage of the confrontation between law enforcement and Michael Vance.
Troopers shot and killed Michael Vance around 10 p.m. Sunday, ending a weeklong manhunt that stretched across the state. During the confrontation, the suspect drove a Dodge flatbed truck. He blew through a roadblock, where he exchanged gunfire with troopers.
Trooper Brian Costanza led the chase on a rural county road. At one point during the pursuit, dashcam footage shows Costanza use his assault rifle to break his front windshield. He then proceeds to fire at Vance, who is ahead of him in a truck.
“These young men did an extraordinary job. They were extremely gallant and brave,” Adams said.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson lauded the cooperation across federal, state and local law enforcement, saying it took every officer involved to locate Vance.
“Michael Vance was our worse case scenario, period. He was a determined, violent criminal with no regard for public safety, no regard for public life, and he had nothing to lose,” Thompson said.
Thompson stressed law enforcement was open to bringing Vance into custody alive, but said authorities responded with appropriate use of force during the final moments of the manhunt.
"Vance ended this the same way he started, violently,” Thompson said. “It didn't have to be that way."
Representatives from several law enforcement agencies were present Tuesday. Wellston Police Chief Tim Estes emotionally described the toll the past week had taken on his officers.
Two of his officers were injured during the initial Oct. 23 call, where authorities say Vance shot at police, striking two. Estes said Officer Shawn Stewart would likely be recovering until the beginning of next year. The police chief was hopeful Officer Jim Hampton, who was also shot, would return to duty within a few weeks.
“You never dream anything like this would ever happen,” Estes said.