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Nichols Hills fire chief dies after shooting

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Modified: September 21, 2011 at 11:24 am •  Published: September 21, 2011

Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan died after a shooting late Tuesday at his home in Mustang, officials said.

Bryan's wife, Becky, called 911 on a cellphone from their home in the 1300 block of W Rose Hill Drive about 10:05 p.m. and said someone was trying to break in, Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley said. The call went dead, but she called back from a landline shortly thereafter.

She said on the call that a white man in his 20s or 30s in a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt shot her husband and sped away in a medium-sized or smaller pickup, Foley said.

Becky Bryan told investigators that before the shooter left, he told her that Bryan should have hired him, Foley said.

Paramedics took Keith Bryan to OU Medical Center, where he died Wednesday morning, hospital spokesman Scott Coppenbarger said.

Foley said Bryan's wife is the sole witness to the incident, and officers have only talked to her briefly. Nothing appears to have been stolen or damaged in the home, and there are no signs of a break-in, he said.

“This is very unusual for the city of Mustang,” Foley said.

Mustang police have asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for assistance.

Bryan was shot once in the head, the OSBI said. His wife gave agents a description of the shooter and the vehicle he was driving, and agents are following leads based upon that description.

OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said investigators want to speak to Becky Bryan again, and that she does not think they have completed a full interview with her yet. Brown said she doesn't know where Becky Bryan is now.

Becky Bryan filed for divorce from Keith Bryan in January 2010 in Canadian County District Court. The case is still pending. Becky Bryan's attorney, Elaine Arnold, did not immediately return a message seeking comment, and no attorney is listed for Keith Bryan.

Becky Bryan cited “complete and irreconcilable incompatibility” in seeking the divorce.

Foley said police had never been called to the Bryans' home before Tuesday night.

The house is in an addition south of SW 74 between Czech Hall and Cedar Springs roads. The houses are about 3,000 square feet and sit on large lots, typically with long driveways that lead from the street to the garage.

Oklahoma City fire headquarters on lockdown

Foley said investigators have been in contact with Oklahoma City fire officials because of the reference the shooter reportedly made about not getting a job. Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant lives about six miles from the Bryans.

Doors at the Oklahoma City fire headquarters at 820 NW 5 were locked down Wednesday morning, Deputy Chief Mark Woodard said. The department recently went through a hiring process. Officials decided to take extra precautions due to the chiefs' similar names. Foley said investigators were concerned other local public officials could be targeted.

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