CLINTON, Mo. -- (08/10/17) UPDATE: William Noble, 35, of Clinton, Missouri has been charged with tampering with physical evidence. The charge alleges that Noble threw the rifle used in the murder of Officer Michael into a body of water North of Clinton, knowing that it had been used in the crime and with the intent to conceal it from investigators. A class E felony is punishable by up to 4 years in the Department of Corrections. Noble's bond is set at $25,000 cash only.
Mugshot of William Noble.
Police believe they've found a key piece of evidence in the shooting investigation of Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael who was killed on Sunday. This afternoon, Missouri State Highway Patrol announced they've recovered the rifle they believe was used in the shooting. The patrol adds the rifle was found north of Clinton in Henry County.
Since the suspected murder weapon is in police custody, law enforcement are now looking into whether Ian McCarthy, 39 -- who's charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Officer Michael -- had any help while he was on the run and how he got to the area where he was found and apprehended.
During a routine traffic stop on Sunday, McCarthy shot Officer Michael and then fled. After two days on the run, McCarthy was found and arrested Tuesday from a tip called in to authorities saying a pedestrian was walking along the highway. The two day manhunt involved nearly 100 law enforcement officers. McCarthy was taken to a hospital in Clinton to treat a gunshot wound he received during the gunfire exchange with Officer Michael. McCarthy faces first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of the officer.
Officer Gary Michael was 37 years old and had been a member of the police force for less than a year. He leaves behind a wife, three children, and a grandchild.