Suspect in Clinton police officer killing charged with murder; m - KCTV5

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Suspect in Clinton police officer killing charged with murder; manhunt still underway

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Officials say officer Gary Michael, 37, had been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year. (KCTV5) Officials say officer Gary Michael, 37, had been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year. (KCTV5)
MSHP says they are looking for Ian McCarthy, 39, of Clinton, MO as a person of interest in the case. (KCTV5) MSHP says they are looking for Ian McCarthy, 39, of Clinton, MO as a person of interest in the case. (KCTV5)
CLINTON, MO (KCTV) -

Authorities in Clinton are searching for the man suspected of killing an area police officer late Sunday night.

The shooting happened during a traffic stop for a vehicle registration violation about 10:45 p.m. on Green Street south of Missouri Route 13 near the Henry County Library. 

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe says Clinton police officer Gary Michael, 37, was shot after the driver of a stopped dark gray Dodge Nitro got out of the vehicle and fired a round that hit him.

Troopers says they are looking for Ian McCarthy, 39, of Clinton, as a suspect in the case.

Prosecutors have charged McCarthy with one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action.

The stopped vehicle was registered to McCarthy and carried Missouri license plates that read MK9 Z2H.

Michael returned fire, but authorities do not know if McCarthy was hit. Michael was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"A lot of people call traffic stops routine but there isn't a routine traffic stop," Lowe said. "We're always mindful that something bad could happen."

McCarthy fled the scene in a vehicle but hit an embankment on Water Street, two blocks from the scene of the shooting. He then ran from the vehicle on foot. 

Troopers say McCarthy is considered armed and dangerous and warns that anyone who sees him should not confront him.

"He is no longer a person of interest, he is a suspect in this killing and he needs to be apprehended before he hurts anybody else," Lowe said. "We've tried all kinds of different investigative tools to be able to locate him but we're doing everything we can for the family to get some closure."

Court records indicate McCarthy pleaded guilty in Nov. 2013 in Missouri to a misdemeanor driving without a valid license. In July 2015 he was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Court records don't indicate the outcome of that case.

Authorities searched a home in the area but came up empty-handed.

Officials say officer Michael, a lifelong resident of Clinton, had been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year. Michael leaves behind a wife and stepsons.

"It's a tragedy, obviously, for his family, it's a tragedy for Clinton Police Department but it's a tragedy for this community," Lowe said. "He was doing his job, you know, he was there protecting and serving and that's what we're called to do, and he did it with heroic fashion." 

In a Facebook post Monday evening, the Clinton Police Department call the fallen officer was a good and kind man. 

The incident happened near a 911 Emergency Communication Center. The flags at that building have been lowered to honor the life of the fallen officer.

Anyone with information about the shooting or McCarthy is asked to call 911.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

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