The hunt for a suspected cop killer Ian McCarthy is over.
McCarthy, 39, of Clinton was apprehended about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday walking on a highway a mile south of Bucksaw Resort and Marina in Henry County.
McCarthy was taken to a Kansas City area hospital. He was returned to Clinton early Wednesday and booked into the Henry County jail shortly after midnight.
“There is a tremendous amount of relief,” said Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe.
Authorities had searched for McCarthy since he was charged Monday with first-degree murder in the death of Gary Michael, a Clinton police officer. Bucksaw Marina is about 18 miles from the scene of the shooting.
Michael, 37, had been on the force less than a year.
A driver spotted McCarthy on an area highway and reported the sighting to police, Lowe said. McCarthy was apprehended on Missouri Route U shortly thereafter without incident.
The Missouri Highway Patrol had been in Chilhowee, which is about 25 miles northwest of Clinton in Johnson County, Mo., since about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on a tip that McCarthy was in a home there.
“We’re following up any leads,” Lowe told reporters as the patrol surrounded the home. “Any lead we get is a good lead until we deem that it didn’t work out.”
A manhunt ensued moments after McCarthy allegedly shot Michael during a traffic stop Sunday around 10:45 p.m. McCarthy allegedly drove away but shortly after that crashed his SUV and fled on foot. He had not been seen again until his arrest Tuesday.
Lowe said McCarthy was injured by gunfire when he was pulled over by Michael. The weapon he allegedly used to kill Michael was not found, Lowe said.
“It was a senseless act,” he said during a news conference Tuesday night to announced McCarthy’s capture. “But we still have a weapon to locate.”
On Monday, McCarthy’s house showed severe damage from a law enforcement raid the night before. Broken windows and an open garage gave evidence to the force of the raid.
The search continued as police checked a vacant school building a few blocks away from the shooting scene near downtown Clinton. A helicopter circled overhead.
A memorial to the slain officer was erected outside the town library, near the scene of the shooting.
It was the first line-of-duty death for Clinton, a town of about 9,000 people near Truman Lake.
Officials say Michael stopped McCarthy in a 2008 Dodge Nitro on Missouri 13 about 10:45 p.m. Sunday for a registration violation. As Michael got out of his patrol car, it is believed McCarthy also got out of his vehicle with a gun and shot the officer, Lowe said.
McCarthy then allegedly sped off, but his SUV struck an embankment a few blocks away. McCarthy reportedly abandoned the crashed vehicle and fled on foot.
Michael’s return fire struck McCarthy, Lowe said.
“Officer Michael was heroic until the end,” Lowe said.
Surveillance cameras at two convenience stores place the 39-year-old suspect in the Dodge Nitro shortly before the shooting. Police afterward found a .223 caliber rifle casing on the seat of the SUV.
“Shots fired! Officer hit,” a man’s voice said at 10:48 p.m. on police tapes. Then moments later: “Shots fired! Officer down. I repeat, officer down. … Get an ambulance here immediately. Immediately.”
A Life Flight air ambulance was on its way within minutes.
Someone asked whether the weapon was a small-caliber handgun or a long gun.
“Should be a long gun — went through the vest,” was the response.
Just before 11 p.m., a medic described the officer’s condition: “GSW (gunshot wound) times two to the chest, and the patient is in cardiac arrest.”
Michael, a husband and stepfather, died at a hospital.
The Star’s Matt Campbell contributed to this report.