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Funeral arrangements set for Clinton police officer killed in line of duty

CLINTON, Mo. — Funeral arrangements were announced Thursday for a Clinton police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Officer Chris Ryan Morton

The visitation for Officer Christopher Ryan Morton will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sunday at the Benson Center in Clinton.

Morton’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, also at the Benson Center.

The procession will begin after the funeral at the Benson Center and end at the Knob Noster Cemetery, where Morton will be buried.

Morton was killed Tuesday night while responding to a 911 call that was initially traced to a Clinton home. When officers entered the home, they encountered 37-year-old James E. Waters, who fired at the officers.

Two other officers were also shot but are now recovering from their injuries.

Additional agencies were called to the Clinton home and entered to get to Morton.  MSHP Sgt. Bill Lowe said it took 15 to 20 minutes from the first “officer down” call to get inside to him.

Then, just after midnight, officers entered the home again to apprehend Waters, who was found dead from a gunshot wound in a bathroom, Lowe said.

Authorities said Wednesday that the Clinton officers were actually sent to the wrong house.

In the 911 call that spurred the dispatch, Henry County 911 operators could hear two women arguing in the background but no one was directly speaking to operators.

Further investigation traced the phone number from the 911 call to a Windsor, Missouri, address — not the Clinton home that police were sent to. Officials are investigating how the error occurred.

Morton, who goes by his middle name, Ryan, was just 30 years old when he was killed.

He worked as a full-time Clinton police officer from Feb. 12, 2015, to Jan. 10, 2017.  He then worked as a reserve officer until Sept. 24, 2017, when he returned to the force full time.

He also served in the Army National Guard as a specialist. He returned home in May 2014 from Afghanistan where he served as a bridge crew member, a radio communications manager and maintained all military bridges in multiple regional commands.

The 30-year-old was from Knob Noster, Missouri, approximately 70 miles east from the metro. He attended Knob Noster High School and later studied at University of Central Missouri.