Man Shoots And Kills Officer During Traffic Stop - Should He Get The Death Penalty?

Each and every day, members of law enforcement take their lives into their own hands while simply doing their jobs. That perspective is often lost on those that don’t protect and serve others for a living, but it becomes readily apparent every time there’s a tragedy involving a police officer. We, unfortunately, have another example to pass along.

As NBC News share, Clinton, Missouri police officer Gary Michael was shot and killed on Sunday during a routine traffic stop over a registration violation. The driver fired at Michael when he was pulled over. Michael was able to return fire, but the suspect took off. Michael would later succumb to his injuries at the hospital. A manhunt is underway for Ian McCarthy, who fled on foot after crashing his vehicle.

“Shots fired! Officer hit. Shots fired! Officer down. I repeat, officer down. … Get an ambulance here immediately,” a voice can be heard on the chilling police tapes of the incident. “Immediately.”

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe notes the dangers that are always inherent in enforcing the law.

“Every traffic stop is different. Every traffic stop yields its own issues sometimes,” he said. “We know as police officers that those traffic stops are always dangerous because we don’t know the individual that is driving. We don’t know the individuals in the car.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill and Sen. Roy Blunt are among the many who have offered up their condolences for Michael.

“It’s a tragic reminder for the rest of us, of what our police officers know every day — that putting on that uniform means they’re putting their own safety on the line to keep our communities safe,” said McCaskill. “I join all Missourians in saluting Officer Michael, praying for his family, and urging folks in Henry County to stay safe while authorities work to bring this suspect to justice.”

“Today, we mourn the loss and honor the service of a fallen hero, Officer Gary Michael,” said Blunt. “Our law enforcement personnel put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, not knowing what danger they may face or whether they will make it home. We will always be grateful for their bravery, their selflessness, and their sacrifice. Our prayers are with Officer Michael’s family, and the Clinton Police Department.”

Michael leaves behind a wife, three children, and a grandchild.

"In a small community, the police department is very tight-knit, so it's obviously devastating for the family and also for the police department," Lowe added. "(Michael) was heroic right to the end. He was protecting his community."

“He really had a heart to serve. He loved it so much,” said his brother, Chris Michael.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of fallen Clinton, Missouri Police Officer Gary Michael,” read a post from the US Secret Service on social media.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is leading the investigation into this tragic incident, but there’s no word on the whereabouts of McCarthy at this point.

Source: Kansas City Star, NBC News
Photo: Missouri State Highway Patrol/Facebook, Missouri Highway Patrol/The Kansas City Star

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