CLINTON, Mo. -- The small town of Clinton has spent the week preparing for the services of Officer Gary Michael, killed last weekend in the line of duty.
Several businesses around the downtown square have contributed to plans throughout the week. They say the town's population of 9,000 is grieving the loss of one.
Jennifer Cummings said, "We've never experienced anything like this in town before. It's just a little tougher when it's one of your own." Michael rented what he wore to his wedding from Cummings' clothing shop. Now, they're dressing people for his funeral. "It's just been a tough week because everybody knows everybody," said Cummings.
Christa Atchison and her sister run an embroidery and screen print shop. The pair started with 100 "Black the Blue" t-shirts Tuesday, after a friend reached out and suggested a fundraiser for the Michael family. Atchison said, "We put it out on Facebook and within two hours we had sold all 100."
They made 650 more and sold out in two days. "My sister and I were born and raised here. We knew Clinton was great, but they just proved it again."
At the corner paint store, owner Keith Weston said, "The whole community is feeling this. It’s not anything you’d ever expect to happen here and it did." He said a customer asked for blue tape and it inspired the small business owner to stripe the square.
Weston said, "We went around the square giving blue tape for stores’ front doors and front windows. Everybody absolutely said yes immediately. Even single person. It's been incredible. It’s on every single window."
Weston also said, "It’s been different. The whole mood around Clinton this week has been awful but being together has helped." Many of the people FOX 4 spoke with Friday knew Officer Michael personally.