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Missouri police officer killed in traffic stop shooting

Posted at 6:22 AM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 10:09:40-04

A man who shot and killed a Clinton, Missouri police officer during a traffic stop late Sunday night was still on the run Monday morning, a report from officials has confirmed.

Authorities released a photo of 39-year-old Clinton resident Ian McCarthy as a person of interest in the shooting. If you know anything about the shooting or McCarthy's whereabouts, call 911.

Officer Gary Michael, 37, died from a gunshot wound after a traffic stop turned violent around 10:45 p.m. local time Sunday.

The report from the Missouri Highway Patrol said the driver of a Dodge Nitro got out of the vehicle during the traffic stop and started shooting.

Michael returned fire, but the suspect managed to get back in the Nitro and drive away, crashing the car just two blocks west. Tactical teams have cordoned off the area around the crash as they work to locate the suspect.

"When I got to the door, I heard one pop, then four after that," said witness Levi Pajula, who works across the street. "I saw one officer being picked up by another officer. It was not a pretty scene to describe."

Sergeant Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol said the traffic stop was in regard to a registration violation.

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

Sgt. Lowe said there's no dash cam or body cam video available of the incident.

Law enforcement had set up checkpoints around Clinton to assist in the manhunt.

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

 

Michael, a local to the Clinton area, was in his first year on the Clinton police force. He was a parent and husband. 

"He has a loving wife. I just met his brother-in-law, and he says he helps raise his kids also," said Pajula. "He was one of the good ones. Most you can't find around."

If you know anything about this crime or notice anything suspicious in the Clinton area, call law enforcement immediately.