Hero Down: Clinton Police Officer Christopher Morton Murdered
Clinton, MO – Clinton Police Officer Christopher Morton, 30, was gunned down as he and fellow officers entered a residence in response to a 911 call on Tuesday night.
Two other officers were wounded in the incident.
Police responded to the home at 9:20 p.m. on March 6, after they received a 911 call and heard two women screaming in the background, Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) Sergeant Bill Lowe said early Wednesday morning, according to KSHB.
A man opened fire on the officers from inside the home, and police returned fire before they made entry into the residence.
Once inside, the gunman opened fire again, hitting Officer Morton and two additional officers.
They were able to retreat from the residence, but Officer Morton was mortally wounded.
The other officers who were wounded were rushed for emergency medical care, and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Sgt. Lowe said.
The unnamed gunman barricaded himself inside the residence after he shot the officers, and was found dead at approximately 12:10 a.m. on Wednesday, after an MHP SWAT team made entry into the home.
It wasn’t known yet if the gunman’s fatal gunshot wound was self-inflicted, investigators said.
The women who were in the house at the time of the incident were not injured, and were taken into custody, FOX News reported.
"It's hard to put into words what you go through when you have an officer killed in the line of duty," Sgt. Lowe said. "The Clinton Police Department is a well-respected police department. They will forge on, but they will need help along the way.”
“We are all saddened by this tragic event. It's one of those things that we realize can happen, but when it does happen, it definitely hits home,” he said.
Officer Morton was murdered exactly seven months after Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael was fatally shot during a traffic stop, KSHB reported.
Officer Morton joined the Clinton Police Department (CPD) in February of 2017, and served as a full-time officer until January of 2017, the MHP said in a tweet. He remained with the department as a reserve officer, but returned as a full-time officer in September of 2017, after Officer Michael’s murder.
The city's population is only around 9,000 people.
“It’s a small department,” Sgt. Lowe said. “It’s small enough that you know each individual officer and the community knows each individual officer, and it’s hard to put into words when you’re talking about an agency of this size, a community of this size where something tragic like this happened just seven months ago.”
Officer Morton was an Army National Guard Specialist, who served two tours in Afghanistan as a bridge crew member and a radio communications manager, KMBC reported.
"Our hearts ache for our brothers in blue at the CPD," the Clinton Fire Department said in a statement, according to CBS News. "Our community has lost another public servant due to a police officer involved shooting. We are praying and ask that each of you pray for all involved and especially for the family of the officer who was killed in the line of duty this evening."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Clinton Police Officer Christopher Morton, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Christopher Morton, your life mattered.