CLINTON, Mo. -- More than 24 hours after a Clinton, Mo., officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop, the man suspected of killing him remains on the run and a community continues to mourn.
Flags are lowered to half-staff Tuesday at the Henry County Sheriff's Office and underneath, a memorial grows in honor of officer Gary Michael who was shot and killed as he exited his patrol car late Sunday night.
A veteran even stopped by the memorial with his bugle and flowers to play "Taps" in memory of the officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice. (You can watch that touching moment in the video player below).
The man charged with killing officer Micheal, 39-year-old Ian McCarthy, has managed to elude police for more than a day, but officers say they are working dozens of leads in the search for the suspected police killer.
McCarthy, who is from Clinton, Mo., faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He also has a lengthy criminal history that includes a warrant issued in New Hampshire in Oct. 2013 after he failed to appear for sentencing on a disorderly conduct charge. Court records also show he pleaded guilty to driving without a valid license in Missouri in Nov. 2013. In July of 2015, he was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Along with these cases, his rap sheet from 1997 to 2011 includes 20 different counts ranging from misdemeanor traffic violations to criminal charges.
On Monday, police said they are confident they will find McCarthy, and that they will not let him dictate the search.
The search for him is currently centered around Clinton, and many people living in the city say they did not sleep well knowing no arrests have been made.
Officer Michael is the first and only Clinton, Mo., police officer to die in the line of duty. He was just 37 years old and leaves behind a wife and step sons.
Chris Michael, officer Michael's brother, said officer Michael joined the military after high school, and was serving in the Army on Sept. 11. He said his brother took a few different paths after leaving the military, but always felt the call to serve. Officer Michael had been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year.
Just hours after the shooting Chris spoke out, not with words of anger or resentment, but of love, fond memories, and gratitude for the time he got to spend with the man he called his hero.
“We have a great local sheriff and state and they’re going to bring him to justice and my brother defended that right for our country and we’re going to let that play out," Chris said.
“It shows you there’s a lot of good people in the world and one man-made a bad decision and it’s bringing out a lot of good in others. It took my brother away but it took him to a better place and that’s alright,” Chris said.
Chris told Fox 4 he is choosing to believe that something good can come of this tragic situation.
“We’re going to hope that something good comes out of this and we were strong before and we’re strong today and our community is going to be a little stronger, and maybe our country is going to be a little stronger," Chris said.
Watch Fox 4's full interview with Chris below.