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'We know as police officers that those traffic stops are always unsafe because we don't know the individual that is driving. The suspect reportedly fled in the Nitro, which was found two blocks away.

Authorities say the driver began firing at Michael as he approached the auto.

The suspect in the shooting death of a western Missouri police officer has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Authorities did not know whether he was wounded.

It's believed the 37-year-old was able to return fire, but authorities said they are not sure if the suspect, later identified as Ian McCarthy, was hit.

After Michael made the traffic stop and got out of his patrol vehicle, the driver got out of his auto and fired at the officer, who was able to return fire, Lowe said.

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Police were at first reluctant to name pin the shooting on him, describing him only as a "person of interest". The suspect then fled the scene and his whereabouts is unknown. 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. Right, 37-year old Officer Gary Michael.

A manhunt was underway in Missouri Monday for a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a police officer.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe told KSHB-TV that Clinton Officer Gary Michael died late Sunday after stopping a driver near Clinton, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City.

Michael had only been on the force for one year.

No other details have been released at this time.


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