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A manhunt is underway in Missouri for a suspect who shot and killed a police officer during a traffic stop late Sunday night.

Clinton Police Department Officer Gary Michael, 37, stopped a vehicle for a registration violation when the driver allegedly got out of his car and shot him, according to State Highway Patrol Sergeant Bill Lowe. Michael returned fire before the suspect drove off, KCTV reports. Michael died from his injuries at a local hospital.

“A lot of people call traffic stops routine but there isn’t a routine traffic stop,” Lowe said, according to KCTV. “We’re always mindful that something bad could happen.”

It is unclear if any of the rounds Michael fired hit the suspect, who crashed the car as he fled and continued on foot.

The Highway Patrol has identified Ian McCarthy, 39, as a person of interest, and police are asking the public for information.

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Write to Julia Zorthian at

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