Clinton plans to say farewell to officer Gary Michael
Posted August 10
CLINTON, MO — The small, heartbroken town of Clinton is getting ready to say their final farewell to officer Gary Michael who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Michael, 37, was fatally shot Sunday during a traffic stop in Clinton, about 70 miles southeast of Kansas City. He was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the city of about 9,000 residents.
A visitation will be held from 5-9 p.m. Friday at Vansant-Mills Funeral Home.
Michael's funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Benson Convention Center, with a public viewing starting at 9 a.m. before the service.
During a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening, Michael's wife, Cindy Michael, said her family has grown by the hundreds.
She said every condolence, well-wish and seeing the community come out to honor her husband is helping her during this difficult time.
"I wanted to thank everybody for being here and supporting us. It's overwhelming support," she said.
The suspect in the killing, 39-year-old Ian McCarthy of Clinton, was captured Tuesday night. His arrest ended a manhunt that began after the shooting.
McCarthy is charged with first-degree murder. He's being held at the Henry County jail. His first court appearance is set for Friday.
Business owners in the square are showing their support for the Michael family with proudly displayed flags and a thin blue line across their storefronts -- a symbol of solidarity.
Ed Weston, whose son owns a paint store in town, was working when he got an odd request from a customer.
"He goes, 'I just need five-feet of blue tape,' and I thought it was kind of an odd request. He told me what he was going to do ... he was going to put it across the back of his pickup," Weston said.
Weston says he liked the idea so much he decided to do the same but to his storefront, and he didn't stop there.
"I started asking some of the other store owners, 'Can I put some on your door?' And by all means, they were all, 'Yes, please do so,'" Weston said.
Meanwhile, organizers with Thin Blue Line USA say they've already raised more than $4,000 selling bracelets in honor of Gary Michael. They're $5 and the money will go toward the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund or a charity his family chooses.
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