A western Missouri man says he knew a stranger limping along in front of his home fit the profile of the person who allegedly gunned down a Clinton police officer. Bud Fitzwater, who ended law enforcement’s two-day manhunt for Ian McCarthy, tells Kansas City television station WDAF that he locked eyes with McCarthy as the man was walking down Fitzwater’s driveway.
“I had my grandkids down here while this was all going on. I was really concerned that the guy would get out and get loose in the area,” says Fitzwater. “He shaved off his beard. I called the wife. She was sitting watching TV. I called her over and I said ‘Look at this guy. Does he look like that McCarthy guy?’ She looked at him and said ‘I don’t know.’”
Fitzwater grabbed his gun.
“I thought well, this guy is going to go by, go in the woods and come around behind,” says Fitzwater. “So I came out some, walked around my buildings and looked for him. I couldn’t find him.”
McCarthy, 39, turned around and went back to a road after seeing a neighbor’s big, scary-looking dog run across Fitzwater’s yard.
“Overall, I think the last couple of days everybody has been on pins and needs,” says Fitzwater. “I, like everybody else, was kind of fearful that he might get in our house or try to get in.”
He has been charged with first-degree murder in Sunday night’s shooting death of 37-year-old Gary Michael. Reports say that the rifle believed to have been used in the shooting was found north of Clinton in Henry County.
Investigators are still trying to determine if McCarthy had any help while he was on the loose, based on where he was when authorities captured him. More than 100 law enforcement officers were involved in the hunt for McCarthy, who was captured near Bucksaw Marina Tuesday.