A Swat operation has failed apprehend a man accused of murdering a police officer in western Missouri’s Clinton Tuesday afternoon.
Law enforcement personnel working on a tip swarmed the small community of Chilhowee, 22 miles north of Clinton is search of 39-year-old Ian McCarthy.
He’s been charged with first degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Officer Gary Michael, who’d been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop A tweeted that a “Search of a Chilhowee residence yielded negative results” at about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon.
McCarthy is alleged to have gunned down Michael during a traffic stop late Sunday night.
McCarthy has a Felony warrant out for unlawful possession of a firearm in July of 2015 in Johnson County. He also has an active first degree assault warrant in New Hampshire.
McCarthy has a lengthy criminal history in that state, having been associated with 20 criminal violations there between 1997 and 2011. A 2001 felony first-degree assault charge resulted in a prison sentence after a jury convicted him of stabbing a child several times in the neck.
4:28 p.m. Tuesday
Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop A reports a “Search of Chilhawee residence yielded negative results”.
A Swat operation is reported to be in progress at a home in a Chilhowee neighborhood. Law enforcement has been working on a tip that Ian McCarthy could be in the area, and at the house when the Swat team has set up.
The Chilhowee Corner Store about 22 miles north if Clinton has reportedly been on lock down since late Tuesday morning. It’s not known if the action was taken in response to the possibility of Ian McCarthy being in the area.
The search for the man accused of killing a police officer late Sunday night in western-Missouri’s Clinton continues. 39-year-old Ian McCarthy has been on the loose since crashing his vehicle shortly after 37-year-old officer Gary Michael was shot during a traffic stop.
Henry County Sheriff J. Kent Oberkrom says search efforts continue to be concentrated in the local area, despite the growing length of time McCarthy’s been missing.
“That’s accurate because we don’t have any information to tell us otherwise” said Oberkrom. “It’s kind of a default decision. We don’t have any information that tells us that he’s away or gone to another location. So we’re assuming that he is still somewhere in the community.”
There have been no reports of stolen or missing vehicles that would’ve allowed McCarthy to flee the area. He’s charged with first degree murder in the incident.
Late Monday afternoon and into the night, law enforcement focused their search on a number of vacant properties where it was thought McCarthy could be hiding. Oberkrom says those locations have been fully explored.
“I feel pretty comfortable that anything that is vacant or had an open door got shook last night. These guys worked really hard, and they we’re calling out a lot of stuff. We searched a lot of vacant properties.”
Sheriff Oberkrom notes law enforcement’s been in touch with all known associates of McCarthy. He says they’ve been cooperative, but haven’t been able to provide useful information.
“We’ve been in contact with a lot of his folks and friends. Those folks are very limited. We’ve been in touch with them. At this point, I think most folks are comfortable that they would report. And their association with him has been very limited. Some have not seen him or had contact with him for several months.”
McCarthy is also not known to have been employed anywhere in the Clinton area, or have any relatives close-by.
5 a.m. Tuesday
Efforts to track down 39-year-old Ian McCarthy, who’s charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Clinton, Missouri police officer Gary Michael, were unsuccessful Monday night.
At about 9:30 p.m. Monday night, law enforcement teams appeared to gather and conference at the city’s new 9-1-1 center. Several locations were staked out earlier in the day where it was thought McCarthy might be hold up, including a closed up school and a number of houses.
McCarthy was not found.
According to information from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a Police Officer in was shot and killed Sunday night in western-Missouri’s Clinton.
37 year old Gary Michael, who has been with the Clinton P.D. for less than a year, was shot and killed following a traffic stop late last night near the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.
The patrol says Officer Michael had stopped a vehicle while on patrol. According to the probable cause report, before shots were fired, Michael was able to give a description of the vehicle and license plates registered to 39-year-old Ian McCarthy.
Surveillance video from the Everyday Convenience store shows a 2008 Dodge Nitro matching the vehicle registered to McCarthy entering the store’s lot. The driver exited the vehicle, entered the store and purchased a package of cigarette wrappers. He then exited the store.
Prior to entering the vehicle, the driver of the Nitro had a brief conversation with a witness, who positively identified the driver as Ian McCarthy.
Surveillance video from another convenience store shows a police cruiser pursuing the same Dodge Nitro. The time signature for the footage is consistent with Officer Michael’s murder.
Once pulled over, the State Highway Patrol believe’s McCarthy exited his vehicle and shot at Officer Michael.
They also say Officer Michael was able to return fire, but they do not know if McCarthy was hit. McCarthy then fled the scene and his whereabouts is unknown.
McCarthy, who was initially a person of interest, is considered armed and dangerous.
McCarthy has been officially charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action by Henry County Prosecutor Richard Shields. McCarthy has a Felony warrant out for unlawful possession of a firearm in July of 2015 in Johnson County.
WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire reports McCarthy has an active first degree assault warrant in that state.
Sergeant Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol said the traffic stop was in regard to a registration violation and the vehicles headlights not being on.
The suspect vehicle was later recovered approximately two blocks south of the initial shooting.
Police believe McCarthy is on foot and still in the Clinton area, which is roughly 75 miles southeast of Kansas City. Lowe said the search area is roughly a ten block radius extending out side the city limits into the county.
The Senior Center and certain city services are closed today in Clinton as a result of the danger posed by McCarthy.
There are no sports practice for the school teams today. The local hospital is on high alert.
According to David Lee of Missourinet affiliate KDKD in Clinton, “every available officer is in town or outside of town looking for” the suspect.
Lee said McCarthy would have limited options trying to leave the area undetected.
“If you’re going to try to get away from here on foot, you’re just about going to have to stay on the road if you go south,” said Lee. “Because if you go south of Clinton, if go off the road, you’re going to run into Truman Lake. And right now, Truman Lake’s pretty high because of all the rain that we’ve been having.”
Sgt. Lowe said investigators have so far concluded McCarthy should still be in the immediate area. “Nothing has led us to believe that he’s left the area, or he’s anywhere outside the area. But it is our best guess. So we’re not 100% sure.”
Sgt. Lowe said there’s no dash cam or body cam video available of the incident.
Attorney General Josh Hawley released a statement late Monday afternoon offering support for the family of Officer Michael, and for the effort to capture McCarthy.
Hawley said. “I have instructed my office to provide any and all assistance necessary to find those responsible for this heinous act, and bring them to justice.”
David Lee of KDKD contributed to this report