Oklahoma man wanted for violent crimes had a hit list
Authorities say the Oklahoma man who has been wanted since Sunday in a string of violent crimes, including the killings of two relatives, had a hit list purporting to target several more people. Michael Dale Vance Jr., a 38-year-old man from Chandler, Oklahoma, is wanted on multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. He was last seen early Monday about 30 miles from the Texas border in western Oklahoma - 165 miles from where the manhunt began Sunday night in Wellston. “Obviously, as long as he isn’t apprehended, we’re extremely concerned about those he may have indicated that he wishes harm to,” Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel told The Oklahoman newspaper on Tuesday. “Most of those are outside of Oklahoma County.”
A Wellston police officer who was shot in the foot Sunday night during a gunbattle with Vance said he shot the suspect twice in the encounter. Officer Jim Hampton told Oklahoma City television station KOCO that Vance was struck twice by gunfire. “He fell to the ground again, laid there for a few minutes, got back up. The firefight was on again,” Hampton said. “At one time, we was actually standing up facing each other, shooting at each other.” The FBI is coordinating the search for Vance among several federal, state and local agencies and is deliberately being tight-lipped so Vance isn’t tipped off to their efforts, spokesman Terry Weber said in a statement.
“This investigation is ongoing and any premature release of information regarding the apprehension efforts of Mr Vance can negatively impact these efforts to safely apprehend (him),” Weber said. Law enforcement is providing protection for the people on the alleged hit list, Whetsel said. —AP