McCarthy charged with murder in Clinton cop slaying, booked into county jail

CLINTON, Mo. - The man charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a Clinton police officer Sunday night has been officially booked into Henry County Jail Wednesday morning.

Authorities acting on a citizen tip arrested Ian McCarthy, 39, along a Henry County roadway after a nearly 48-hour manhunt.

McCarthy stands accused of murdering Clinton police officer Gary Micheal, 37, during a traffic stop late Sunday night.

When authorities caught up to McCarthy on Highway U near MO Highway 7, he was unarmed and went under arrest without incident, the report said.

Investigators have not located the weapon used in Sunday's shooting. 

McCarthy now faces charges including first-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm. A judge has not yet set bond for his most serious charges.

He will be in court Friday via a video appearance for his arraignment.

Officer Michael died in the gunfire following a traffic stop near the intersection of East Green Street and North 2nd Street (MO Highway 13). Around 10:45 p.m. Sunday, he pulled over a Dodge Nitro for a registration violation, officials said, when the driver got out and opened fire. 

"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."

Officials say McCarthy was injured during the encounter with Michael Sunday, but didn't explain the extent of his injuries. Authorities took him to a Kansas City area hospital for treatment after his arrest, then returned him to Henry County for booking into the jail. 

Extended coverage:

Clinton community comes together after officer is shot, killed in traffic stop turned violent 

Photos of fallen Clinton officer in training 

Family remembers Clinton, Missouri officer Gary Michael 

Photos: Kansas, Missouri officers killed in the line of duty since 1997

After the capture, Gov. Eric Greitens sent out the following statement thanking the law enforcement agencies who helped in the search.

"The Highway Patrol has apprehended the suspect in the shooting of Clinton Police Officer Gary Michaels. We are all grateful for and proud of the law enforcement officers who conducted this operation. Justice will be done.
 
Our hearts still hang heavy this evening. Officer Michaels’ family and his department still grieve, and the entire state of Missouri joins them in their grief. Sheena and I will pray tonight for all who knew Officer Michaels and for the memory of his life and service. Tonight, we will remember the words of Isaiah, 'Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.'"

Sergeant Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol told us there is no dash or body cam video of the incident. 

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

Michael, a local to the Clinton area, was in his first year on the Clinton police force. He was a brother, 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."

"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 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."

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt released the following statement on the death of Michael:

“Today, we mourn the loss and honor the service of a fallen hero, Officer Gary Michael,” Blunt said. “Our law enforcement personnel put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, not knowing what danger they may face or whether they will make it home. We will always be grateful for their bravery, their selflessness, and their sacrifice. Our prayers are with Officer Michael’s family, and the Clinton Police Department.”

McCarthy has a criminal history in New Hampshire, including possession of a dangerous weapon, reckless and disorderly conduct, and first-degree assault. He has an active warrant out for his arrest in that state. 

In the New Hampshire assault, McCarthy was found guilty of stabbing a minor in the neck, chest and abdomen. Court documents called the boy's injuries "severe." He was ordered to pay restitution to the victim and his mother but he later got that ruling overturned.

 

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