Jefferson City — The Missouri Republican Party released this statement following the death of Officer Gary Michael, a 37-year-old Clinton, Missouri police officer who was shot during a routine traffic stop late Sunday night.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Michael’s loved ones, the Clinton Police Department, and the entire Clinton community as they mourn this tragic loss,” said Austin Stukins, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party. “Officer Michael died while doing his job—a reminder of the sobering reality that our law enforcement officers risk their own lives to protect ours every time they go to work,” Stukins continued. “We are blessed and grateful for patriots and peacemakers like Officer Michael, and we hope that the thug responsible for his death will be apprehended and swiftly brought to justice.”