Hundreds of thin blue line flags cover Clinton as community honors fallen police officer

CLINTON, Mo. -- It was another somber day in Clinton as the community prepares to bury its second police officer in just seven months.

Capt. Sonny Lynch first met Officer Christopher Ryan Morton nearly five years ago when he attended Central Missouri Police Academy. Lynch said Ryan loved his job and loved his community.

Officer Chris Ryan Morton

“He loves the Kansas City Royals. He loves the Kansas City Chiefs. He loves the military. He loves his country. He loves all of us, and he loves this town,” Lynch said.

Morton had been working with the VA police in Kansas City until seven months ago, the night he learned Officer Gary Michael was killed.

“He told us he wanted to come back," Lynch said. "He wanted to fill the slot left after Gary was killed, and he was just adamant that is what he wanted to do."

For the second time, American flags with the thin blue line were displayed around the downtown square. This time honoring Morton.

Henry M. Adkins & Son printed more than 2,000 flags to honor the second fallen officer in the history of the Clinton Police Department.

“People have been calling left and right just trying to get more flags," said Makayla Groom with the printing company. "We have taken a bunch of big stacks to different stores around town so they can pass them out as well."

The Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team is now in Clinton helping give the city's police department a chance to grieve together as they prepare for Monday’s funeral service.

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.