Fugitive dies in gunbattle; video to be released

Associated Press


A fierce gunbattle with Oklahoma troopers left a homicide suspect dead and ended a weeklong manhunt for the man suspected in a string of violent crimes across the state, including the killing of two relatives and the shooting of three law-enforcement officers.

After a tip from a farmer led authorities Sunday to a campsite near Hammon in far western Oklahoma, the manhunt intensified for Michael Dale Vance Jr., who had posted two Facebook Live videos Oct. 24 documenting his run from police, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons.

Several troopers were chasing Vance, who was driving a stolen flatbed pickup truck, when the vehicle went off the road near Leedey, 130 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

“He exited the vehicle and engaged our troopers in a pretty fierce gunbattle,” Timmons said. “It’s probably safe to say he [Vance] was hit more than once.”

Vance was pronounced dead at the scene, and authorities plan to release dashboard-camera video of the shooting during a news conference today, Timmons said.

Also on Monday, authorities charged three acquaintances of Vance, 34-year-old Danny Roach of Oklahoma City, 36-year-old April Harden, and 33-year-old Reginald Moore, with aiding Vance after he had shot and wounded two Wellston police officers and killed two relatives.

Roach provided Vance with bandages, an assault rifle and ammunition last week after Vance came to his home in Oklahoma City, said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

All three were charged Monday with two counts of accessory to felony murder after the fact, and Roach was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm after a felony conviction.

Roach and Moore each also face two counts of shooting with intent to kill because they provided the weapon Vance used in the shooting of the Dewey County sheriff and of a man near Sayre during an attempted carjacking.

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