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Investigators Say Nichols Hills Fire Chief May Not Be Target

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Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan pictured in 1999 in a News 9 story on fire safety. Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan pictured in 1999 in a News 9 story on fire safety.
Chief Keith Bryan Chief Keith Bryan
Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant, (above). Investigators are looking into a possible mistaken identity surrounding Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan's murder. Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant, (above). Investigators are looking into a possible mistaken identity surrounding Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan's murder.

News9.com

MUSTANG, Oklahoma --  The investigation into the shooting death of the Nichols Hill Fire Chief is focusing on whether or not he was the intended target.

Here's why. Chief Keith Bryan's name is very similar to the Oklahoma City Fire Chief's name, Keith Bryant. Investigators are looking into whether the suspect may have been passed over for a job at either Nichols Hills Fire Department or the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant is in Washington, D.C. and has been since Monday. He released this statement Wednesday:

"I am absolutely shocked and saddened by this tragedy. Keith Bryan was a great friend, a well respected Fire Service leader in the OKC metro area and the State of Oklahoma. My thoughts and support are focused on Keith's family and the Nichols Hills Fire Department," Keith Bryant, Oklahoma City Fire Chief.

Mustang Police say Fire Chief Keith Bryan's wife called 9-1-1 around 10 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, after someone broke into their Mustang home in the 1300 block of Rose Hill Drive.  She told police a man drove up to the house in a small or mid-size, dark-colored pickup truck.  She says he got into the house through an open garage door.

Mustang Police say the man shot Chief Bryan once in the head, ran back to his vehicle and drove away.  Mrs. Bryan told News 9 before the shooter left, he told her the chief should have hired him.

Chief Bryan died Wednesday morning around 6 a.m. from the gunshot wound.

Firefighters at the Nichols Hills Fire Department lowered the flag outside their building to half staff as soon as they heard the devastating news.  The fire department released this statement:

It is with deepest regret the City of Nichols Hills announces the loss of Fire Chief Keith Bryan. Chief Bryan passed away at 0600 this morning at OU Medical Center. Chief Bryan began his career at Nichols Hills 31 years ago, on August 20, 1980. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

We want to thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. Obviously this is a very difficult time for the City of Nichols Hills and the Nichols Hills Fire Department. We have had many offers of support and assistance from all area fire departments to man our station, but our firefighters are on duty making calls.

Police only have a very vague description of the shooter.  The suspect is a white man in his 20s or 30s.  He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Mustang Police and OSBI ask anyone with any information about this case to call Mustang Crime Stoppers at 376-0000.

9/21/11 Related Story: Wife Of Slain Nichols Hills Fire Chief Says Shooter Spoke To Her

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