Man accused of killing Missouri police officer wanted in New Hampshire

Officer Gary Michael 37 died from a gunshot wound after a traffic stop turned violent

Police in west-central Missouri are searching for a man they say shot and killed an officer during a traffic stop. He later started his own project management company, Readi Enterprises, which he managed from 2014 till he entered the police academy in 2016.

Officer Gary Michael, 37, was shot and killed late Sunday after pulling over a driver near Clinton, which is about 60 miles north of Springfield.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Bill Lowe said officials have been in the area since around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is looking for McCarthy, 39, of Clinton.

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. McCarthy reportedly abandoned the crashed vehicle and fled on foot.

Sources told WMUR that McCarthy has lived in New Hampshire in the past and has a criminal history in the Granite State.

According to Sgt. Lowe, Officer Michael tried to return fire, but it is unclear if the suspect was hit.

The public is advised against making contact with McCarthy, who is considered armed and unsafe. In July of 2015, he was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

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The suspect vehicle was later recovered approximately two blocks south of the initial shooting.

The Senior Center and certain city services are closed today in Clinton as a result of the danger posed by McCarthy. The local hospital is on high alert.

Missouri online court records show McCarthy was charged Monday in Henry County, even as the manhunt for him continues.

Lee said McCarthy would have limited options trying to leave the area undetected.

It was the first line-of-duty death for Clinton, a town of about 9,000 people near Truman Lake. Authorities said McCarthy fired at Michael, and Michael fired back. "Nothing has led us to believe that he's left the area, or he's anywhere outside the area".

At the time, former Manchester Police Chief David Mara - then a lieutenant and the department's prosecuting attorney - said it was McCarthy and three others who picked a fight with Pawlick and his two friends who were riding in another vehicle.

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".