Clinton Officer Killed, Two Wounded Responding to 911 Call; Suspect Found Dead
A man shot and killed a police officer and wounded two others who were checking on a disturbance at a Missouri home.
Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg said the officers went to the home in Clinton on Tuesday night in response to a 911 call in which no one was on the line but a disturbance could be heard in the background.
The patrol said shots were fired at the Clinton officers soon after they arrived at the home around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. Clinton, with about 8,800 residents, is about 70 miles (110 kilometers) east of Kansas City.
Officer Christopher Ryan Morton, a 30-year-old who had served in the Army, was fatally shot while trying to apprehend the suspect. The other two officers were treated at a hospital. One of the wounded officers remained hospitalized Wednesday with moderate injuries. The other officer's injuries were minor, the patrol said.
A SWAT team entered the home at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday but found the suspect dead. The shooter has been identified by the Patrol as 37-year-old James E. Waters of Clinton.
Stosberg said the cause of the suspect's death is under investigation. A woman who was at the home was taken into custody.
Stosberg declined to say whether police had responded to the home in the past or what precipitated the 911 call, but Sgt. Bill Lowe later said two women could be heard screaming in the background during the call.
Morton is the second Clinton police officer in the past year to be killed in the line of duty. In August, Officer Gary Michael was killed during a traffic stop. Ian McCarthy was arrested after a two day manhunt and has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting. Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty.
Morton, who joined the Army in November 2005 and was twice deployed, returned in May 2014 from Afghanistan, where he served as a bridge crew member and radio communications manager, The Kansas City Star reported.
The patrol said Morton was a full-time Clinton officer from February 2015 through January 2017, when he temporarily became a reserve officer. He returned to full-time duty one month after Michael's death. The patrol described Morton in a tweet as having served with "distinction."
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) released the following statement today in response to the death of Clinton Police Officer Christopher Ryan Morton and the injury of two other police officers after responding to a 9-1-1 call last night.
“Officer Christopher Ryan Morton gave the ultimate sacrifice last night, and I am grieved to hear of his passing. His life clearly was one based on sacrifice and service, as he deployed twice with the Army National Guard before returning home to continue serving his country as a police officer,” she said.
“Police officers in communities big and small put their lives on the line every day to protect us and our families, and they deserve our highest respect and our heartfelt gratitude. I pray for the family, friends, and colleagues Officer Morton left behind and for his two fellow officers who are still in the hospital,” Hartzler said.