Initial traffic stop was for a suspected vehicle registration violation, police say
Police are searching for Ian James McCarthy, 39, who has been charged with first-degree murder
A manhunt was under way for a motorist charged with killing a small-town Missouri police officer during a routine traffic stop over the weekend, police said Monday.
Ian James McCarthy, 39, of Clinton, Missouri, was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action, both felonies, the Henry County, Missouri Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.
Gary Michael, 37, who had been with the Clinton, Missouri, Police Department for less than a year, pulled over a vehicle for a suspected registration violation Sunday night, according to Sgt. Bill Lowe of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
As Michael exited his vehicle in downtown Clinton, the alleged shooter also got out of his car and fired once at the officer before fleeing the scene and crashing his vehicle into an embankment about four blocks away, Lowe said.
Michael returned fire, but it’s not clear if he hit the suspect, who fled on foot after the crash, the sergeant said. Before shots were fired, Michael managed to give a description of a dark SUV with Missouri plates, which is registered to McCarthy, according to a probable cause statement.
Michael was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.
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