The officer, Gary Michael, who was with the force less than a year, pulled over a suspicious vehicle around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe.
When Michael exited his vehicle to initiate contact with the driver, he was shot, Lowe said, adding that the officer fired back but it’s unknown at this time whether the driver was struck.
Investigators told ABC News Monday that Michael initially pulled over the driver because the vehicle’s headlights were off, and once Michael ran the plates, he discovered the vehicle’s plates were also expired.
Related Content: Federal officials join search for rape suspect who escaped
The highway patrol identified and released a photo of a man they said is a person of interest in the shooting: 39-year-old Ian McCarthy of Clinton.
Police said that after shooting Michael, the driver fled in the car, then crashed a few blocks away. From the site of the crash, the driver fled on foot, Lowe said.
Michael was taken to a local hospital where he died, according to Lowe.
No gun was recovered from either the scene of the shooting or the crash, which leads the police to assume that the driver is armed, according to Lowe.