Michael returned fire, but the gunman got back in his auto and drove off - crashing his vehicle just a couple blocks away before fleeing on foot, Sgt. Bill Lowe with the Missouri State Highway Patrol told FOX 4 Kansas City.
The Kansas City Star also obtained a statement from Michael's fellow officer Patrol Sgt. Lowe, in which he said of his late colleague, "He had always wanted to be a police officer".
Ian James McCarthy, 39, of Clinton, Missouri, was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action, both felonies, the Henry County, Missouri Prosecutor's Office said Monday. When the vehicle stopped, McCarthy stepped out and fired a gun at Michael, hitting him. Before shots were fired, Michael managed to give a description of a dark SUV with Missouri plates, which is registered to McCarthy, according to a probable cause statement.
Michael was rushed to a local hospital, where he passed away from his injuries.
Lowe said investigators do not know what might have prompted the shooting. He was a military police officer overseas for about five years before returning to the Kansas City area.
Michael is the first officer to die in the line of duty for the department, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Federal agencies have made informal offers to help but have not officially joined the search, Lowe said.
"We've obtained information that directly links him to this crime". By 6:30 a.m., officers had located the suspect vehicle, but the suspect remained on the run. "We don't know the individuals in the vehicle".
McCarthy is considered armed and risky.
Checkpoints have since been set up around Clinton, and Henry County Deputies, Missouri State Troopers and Clinton Police have several parts of the city blocked off, FOX 4 Kansas City reported. "He was doing his occupation, you know, he was there securing and serving and that is what we're called to do, and he did it with fearless mold". "We have to make sure our officers are safe, while also making sure no one else is hurt".
"He needs to be apprehended before he harms anyone else", Lowe said.
Being a law enforcement officer was important for Michael, a husband and stepfather.