Trooper Michael K. McCarter

Trooper Michael K. McCarter

Illinois State Police, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, April 7, 1979

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Michael K. McCarter

Trooper Michael McCarter and Patrolman William Caisse, of the Paxton Police Department, were shot and killed following a traffic stop on I-57 south of Paxton, Illinois.

At about 9:00 pm, Patrolman Caisse was dispatched to assist Trooper McCarter who was attempting to stop four speeding vehicles traveling southbound. Once at the scene, one subject fled to an overpass area and began firing at both officers, mortally wounding Trooper McCarter and a civilian who was riding with him. Upon the arrival of another Paxton officer, gunfire continued from the overpass area as another subject retrieved a rifle from the rear of his pickup truck, shooting Patrolman Caisse in the back, killing him instantly.

That suspect then began firing at the other officer, wounding him in the right leg and chest, before he was able to return fire four times with a shotgun. As the suspect fell to the ground and reached for his weapon, the officer fired his revolver and killed him.

The four subjects, all brothers and members of an auto parts theft ring based in Detroit, were traveling from Michigan to Mississippi to attend their grandmother's funeral and feared the officers would find their weapons when they were stopped. A third brother was also killed in the shootout while a fourth was not implicated in the incident.

The suspect who fired from the overpass area was found wounded the following day. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. His sentence was twice overturned and he was later re-sentenced to life in prison without parole. In 1993, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the offender's sentence.

Trooper McCarter, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, had served with the Illinois State Police for nine years and was assigned to District 6A. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 1725
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Two killed, one sentenced

traffic stop

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Today makes 43 years without you. I wish I could have met you Papaw, but I'm you and Mary Pat's oldest granddaughter, Patrick's first baby. I wish that you could see who I've become because I know you'd love me and Hannah, my sister. Rest well Mike. We all love you.

Aubrey McCarter

April 7, 2022

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