OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper says his goal was to put a fugitive on the defensive when he fired at the suspect through the windshield of his patrol vehicle during a pursuit.
Trooper Brian Costanza, a nearly 15-year veteran, joined the chase after Michael Dale Vance Jr. on Oct. 30 in Custer County. The manhunt for Vance, 38, began Oct. 23 after he allegedly killed two relatives and shot two police officers in central Oklahoma, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2ikFmN2 ) reported.
Dash camera video shows Costanza, 39, firing an M4 rifle through his vehicle’s windshield while driving. Costanza and Vance, who had an AK-47 assault rifle, exchanged several rounds of gunfire until Vance was eventually killed.
“I was happy to be there,” Costanza said. “I was behind this guy, and I knew I had the ability to stop him. This is the guy you train for.”
An autopsy report said Vance died from a gunshot wound to the neck.
Costanza said he was neither afraid of Vance nor of dying, but rather of not doing everything in power to end the pursuit.
“What better way to go out that protecting your brothers,” he said.
The trooper said he hopes the dashcam video will serve as a tool to train other officers in what and what not to do.
Costanza was born in Tulsa and graduated from East Central University with a degree in criminal justice. He is a member of the state Highway Patrol’s Tactical Team as well as a firearms instructor.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com