“Shots fired, officer hit,” broke the silence on police radios seconds after Clinton, Mo., Police Officer Gary Michael pulled an SUV over Sunday evening.
An audio recording of police dispatches gives insight to just how quickly the traffic stop escalated to the fatal shooting of Michael, as well as the desperate manhunt for his killer.
Michael had stopped a 2008 Dodge Nitro for a registration violation about 10:45 p.m. Sunday.
“I’ll be on East Green right outside Henry County 911 Dispatch,” an officer, presumably Michael, said calmly as he gave the phonetic alphabet for the license plate. “It’ll be a dark gray in colored Dodge SUV. Unknown occupants.”
Ten seconds later came the word that shots had been fired and an officer had been hit.
Michael, who had been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year, was fatally wounded. A manhunt was underway for his accused killer, Ian McCarthy, 39, of Clinton.
The police dispatches from the Henry County Joint Communication Center were captured and archived by Broadcastify.com, an online source of police, fire and other public safety audio streams.
Shortly after the shooting, a dispatcher asked Michael his status. After no response, she advised others that his vehicle was not moving and that it was still parked.
In the frantic moments afterward, officers responded to the area as dispatchers alerted all county units of a dark-colored SUV seen fleeing from the area.
An officer confirmed the shooting.
“Shots fired, officer down, officer down,” the officer said. “I repeat, officer down.”
Shortly thereafter, a dispatcher said the vehicle had wrecked at 301 W. Green St. About the same time, an ambulance was dispatched to the 100 block of East Green where the officer was shot.
“Get an ambulance here immediately — immediately,” an officer requested over the radio about 3 1/2 minutes after the traffic stop.
The officer then requested dispatch to get a Life Flight helicopter ambulance on standby.
Officers then advised that an armed man was seen running from the scene.
“If there’s any possible way we could get enough units to set up a perimeter,” an officer asked dispatchers. “Again, we have the vehicle. Last known location (of the shooter was) east of us. He’s headed back to the other officers.”
An officer also asked for a police dog. At one point, an officer asked what type of firearm the shooter had.
“Should be a long gun,” another replied. “It went through the vest.”
Shortly thereafter, an officer said he found a .223 rifle casing.
In the minutes that followed, police tried to get a description of the shooter. One person told officers he saw a man in a white T-shirt run behind his home.
Another asked police to check a home’s basement after the resident found an open door. No one was found inside.
In the recording, an emergency worker was heard giving an update on Michael’s condition.
“This is going to be a GSW (gunshot wound) times two to the chest, and the patient is in cardiac arrest,” a woman advised.