A man who is charged with supplying the weapon used to kill a western Missouri police officer admitted that he bought the rifle for the suspect and threw it in a creek after the shooting, according to a probable cause statement filed in the case, reports the Associated Press.
William Noble, 35, was charged Thursday with felony tampering with evidence. He is accused of buying the rifle that investigators believe Ian McCarthy, 39, used in the killing of Clinton, MO, police Officer Gary Michael on Sunday.
Investigators have said that Michael was killed when the driver of a car he stopped for a traffic violation in Clinton Sunday jumped out and shot him. The suspect drove a few blocks before crashing the car and fleeing on foot. McCarthy was arrested and charged after a two-day manhunt. He was scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
Noble initially told two officers who visited his home on Thursday that he bought the rifle and sold it to McCarthy. He then changed his story and acknowledged that McCarthy asked him to buy the rifle for him. He said he did so because McCarthy was from out of state.
Noble told the officers he "panicked" when he returned home on Monday — the day after the shooting — and found the rifle leaning against an inside doorway, the statement said. He took two officers to the creek Thursday, where they recovered the rifle Noble had thrown in it.