Nichols Hills fire chief dies after shooting

Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan died after a shooting late Tuesday at his home in Mustang, officials said. The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation is helping with the investigation.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL and BRYAN DEAN Modified: September 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm •  Published: September 21, 2011

Bryant said his main concern is for the Bryan family.

“Keith was a good friend of mine. We worked together for many years,” Bryant said. “That's where my thoughts have been, really.”

Bryant said there haven't been any notable instances of people being upset about not being hired by the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Officials were looking at records of recent applicants for local fire department jobs as part of the investigation, Foley said.

Bryan was well-liked,

well-known in two cities

The city of Nichols Hills issued a statement expressing condolences to Keith Bryan's family, saying it's “a difficult time” for the city and its employees. Fire departments from across the metro area offered assistance answering fire calls Wednesday, but the city said its firefighters remain on duty.

Keith Bryan worked for the city's fire department for 31 years.

He previously served as a city councilman in Mustang.

Mustang Fire Chief Carl Hickman said he had known Bryan more than 15 years.

“We're just in disbelief,” Hickman said. “A lot of the chiefs are pretty close. Keith was highly respected throughout the metro area, both professionally and personally.”

Mustang City Manager Mike Rutledge said he was good friends with Bryan during his time as Ward 5 councilman from 2004-09.

“He was a smart, strong, knowledgeable leader who was very personable,” Rutledge said. “He would help anyone with anything they needed.”

Bryan was instrumental in developing a comprehensive city plan that addressed growth of the city and guidance for city employee performance, Rutledge said.

Bryan was able to assess difficult items that came before the city council. “He took his job seriously,” Rutledge said.

Rhonda Miller, 55, said she used to live next door to Keith Bryan and his wife for more than five years.

“He was just a great person,” Miller said. “I used to take my little daughter up to the fire station, and he would make his fire buddies buy candy bars from her for school.”

She said Keith Bryan was a kind, Christian man who attended The Bridge Assembly of God in Mustang.

“I'm really going to miss him,” Miller said. “My stomach has a knot in it because I'm so sad that this happened to him.”

Jerry Morgan, 82, lives down the street from the Bryans. He said he often leaves his garage open.

“It's rarely closed because we work out of here all the time on our five acres,” Morgan said. “That scares you. We'll probably keep the doors closed for the next couple of days.”

Contributing: Staff Writers Robert Medley, Tiffany Gibson and Andrew Knittle

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