Manhunt underway after rookie officer in Missouri killed during traffic stop

Credit: Missouri State Highway Patrol(CLINTON, Mo.) -- A manhunt is underway after a rookie police officer was shot and killed at a traffic stop in Clinton, Missouri, police said.

The officer, Gary Michael, who was with the force less than a year, pulled over a suspicious vehicle around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe.

When Michael exited his vehicle to initiate contact with the driver, he was shot, Lowe said, adding that the officer fired back but it’s unknown at this time whether the driver was struck.

Investigators told ABC News Monday that Michael initially pulled over the driver because the vehicle's headlights were off, and once Michael ran the plates, he discovered the vehicle's plates were also expired.

The highway patrol identified and released a photo of a man they said is a person of interest in the shooting: 39-year-old Ian McCarthy of Clinton.

Police said that after shooting Michael, the driver fled in the car, then crashed a few blocks away. From the site of the crash, the driver fled on foot, Lowe said.

Michael was taken to a local hospital where he died, according to Lowe.

No gun was recovered from either the scene of the shooting or the crash, which leads the police to assume that the driver is armed, according to Lowe.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

‘Because they can get away with it’: Why African Americans are blamed for crimes they didn’t commit: Experts

iStockBy: CHRISTINA CARREGA, ABC News (NEW YORK) -- A panicked white woman in New York City's Central Park calls 911 to say that a black man threatened her and her dog.A Florida mom claims two black men abducted her son, who had autism, and was later f...