CLINTON, Mo. -- A Clinton Police officer killed in the line of duty was laid to rest Saturday.
Officer Gary Michael was killed Sunday, Aug. 6 during a traffic stop. A two-day manhunt for the suspect followed, culminating with the arrest of Ian McCarthy, who is now jailed and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. An alleged accomplice, William Noble, was arrested Thursday and is charged with evidence tampering for allegedly tossing the gun following the murder.
All week, the community of Clinton has rallied around Officer Michael's family. Flags and Thin Blue Line posters are all over town. Hundreds turned out to two visitations, Friday evening and Saturday morning. The Clinton Community Center was packed for Saturday's funeral service. Police from around the nation participated in the funeral procession, accompanied by more than 125 Patriot Guard Riders.
Inside the service, more than a thousand friends, family and brothers and sisters in law enforcement came to pay their respects to Officer Michael.
"Many are here not because he died in the line of duty, but because of how he lived. Death doesn't make heroes. Life does," said officiant Dr. Randy Shipman.
The officer's tragic death has brought the community together. The officer's family is drawing on their deep faith as they grieve, and are hoping to inspire others.
"God says He works all things together for the good of those called to His purpose. Gary was called to His purpose and out of tragedy, life can be brought," said Officer Michael's brother, Chris Michael.
Governor Eric Greitens insisted this time of healing and mourning should also serve as a call to action.
"Let's all pledge to support police who keep us safe. Support their families, and devote our ideals to the ideals by which Officer Michael lived: courage, sacrifice, honor and duty. That's our task," said Gov. Greitens.
That kind of vast support has been abundantly evident in Clinton.
"We express our deepest appreciation for you, and for your service and commitment to our communities," said Dr. Shipman.
Filing from the service, hundreds of officers were sent back to the streets to serve and protect.
It's a tribute, sacrifice, and life that won't soon be forgotten, and a legacy that will endure.
Part of how Officer Michael's memory will live in is through a trust fund established in his name. It will fund scholarships for those who want to pursue careers in law enforcement
The fund in his name is set up at US Bank. You may make donations directly to any US Bank into the trust.