Oklahoma fugitive Michael Vance dead in shootout, authorities say

Michael Dale Vance, Jr. in undated photo


Last Updated Oct 31, 2016 11:37 AM EDT

LEEDEY, Okla. -- A massive, weeklong manhunt for a suspect in a string of violent crimes, including the killing and apparent near decapitations of two relatives, the shooting of two police officers and multiple carjackings, ended Sunday evening in a police chase and shootout that left the man dead in western Oklahoma.

Authorities said Michael Dale Vance Jr., 38, was shot and killed by an Oklahoma state trooper near Leedey, Oklahoma, about 130 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

Capt. Paul Timmons, of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, tweeted word early Monday of Vance’s fate:

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook early Monday that, “The Dewey County Sheriff was also injured during a confrontation with the suspect. The Dewey County Sheriff’s injuries are non-life threatening.”

CBS Oklahoma City affiliate KWTV reports the sheriff, Clay Sander, was hit in the arm. Police say he underwent surgery Monday and is expected to recover.

After shooting the sheriff, Vance fled in a car, according to Dave Turk, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C., which participated in the manhunt.

Officers pursued Vance for about half an hour when he was approached by an Oklahoma state trooper.

“There was an exchange of gunfire between the state trooper and the subject, and the subject was killed,” Turk said.

KWTV says four troopers were involved in the shootout and Vance was hit multiple times. No troopers were injured in the shootout.

The station says law enforcement agencies was checking out a possible sighting of Vance near the western Oklahoma town of Hammon, Oklahoma, conducting a perimeter search of the area, when Sander was shot. Timmons says a resident spotted a vehicle Sunday that matched the description of the car Vance was last seen driving. 

Timmons tells KWTV that the Mitsubishi Eclipse was “partially concealed by tumbleweeds.” Timmons says that Vance fled the makeshift campsite before authorities could capture him, but the suspect was later killed in the shootout.

He says investigators found clothing and evidence of a campfire in the area. 

Vance was wanted on multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. An intense search for Vance began after he shot and wounded two police officers on Oct. 23 in Wellston, 35 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, authorities said.

Vance, 38, was suspected of shooting a woman and stealing her vehicle at a mobile home park near Wellston, then driving about eight miles to his relatives’ mobile home in Luther and killing them.

Ronald Everett Wilkson, 55, had been shot and had stab wounds to his neck “consistent with an attempt to sever his head,” an arrest affidavit said. Valerie Kay Wilkson, 54, had similar neck wounds along with defensive wounds on her arms, the affidavit stated.

Authorities also believe Vance filmed two Facebook Live videos documenting his run from police before going to the Wilksons’ mobile home.

“It’s one of those sad, happy days that our parents are finally at peace,” a daughter of Ronnie and Valerie Kay Wilkson told KWTV after it was reported that Vance had been killed.