Missouri Police Officer Shot And Killed During Traffic Stop

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They say he should be considered armed and unsafe.

As Michael exited his vehicle in downtown Clinton, the alleged shooter also got out of his auto and fired once at the officer before fleeing the scene and crashing his vehicle into an embankment about four blocks away, Lowe said.

They also say Officer Michael was able to return fire, but they do not know if the suspect was hit. In July 2015, he was charged with illegal firearm possession, although the court records do not show if he received a sentence for that charge.

Authorities initially named McCarthy as a person of interest, then later labeled him a suspect before prosecutors announced the charges. "(Michael) was heroic right to the end.

When he approached the vehicle on foot, 39-year-old Ian McCarthy allegedly pulled a gun and opened fire.

Authorities have identified the officer as 37-year-old Gary Michael.

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Michael had only been on the force for one year.

The suspect fled the scene and abandoned the vehicle. Sergeant Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol told KSHB the traffic stop was in regard to a registration violation.

Lowe says the driver of a Dodge Nitro got out of the vehicle during the traffic stop and started shooting.

Authorities were searching for McCarthy Monday in the Clinton area, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City. He says the 37-year-old Michael returned fire but that the suspect got back into the auto and drove off before crashing two blocks away.

No other details have been released at this time.