Hundreds gather for Clinton officer visitation

CLINTON, Mo. -- The city of Clinton, Missouri held a public visitation for officer Ryan Morton on Sunday.  Hundreds attended.

On Sunday morning, the Square in Clinton is still, broken by a single procession with a hearse down Jefferson Street.

The flags -- red, white, blue, and black -- still fly around the county seat.  And the gray clouds still hover, much like the death of officer Ryan Morton still hangs over Clinton.

The community amassed, appropriately, inside the Clinton Community Center on Sunday, for the officer’s visitation.  More than an hour before the visitation started, parking lots filled. Darlene Dice was one of them.

"To give our respects for what he did," she said. "I’d give him my time, whatever it takes to show him I care."

Bill Harrison parked across the street and watched people file into the building.  "And you come do what you’ve got to do to show respect," he said.  "This town has respect."

Officer Ryan Morton a man who served his country in Afghanistan, was serving his city Tuesday night, when police say James Waters shot him at his home on Grandriver.  Police say a 911 call and dispatch brought him, unknowingly, to the wrong house.

Waters had just been released from prison in August.  He told his family he was not going back.

And he didn’t - he died after an hours-long stand-off in that Grandriver house.

Now the residents of Clinton are back at the Community Center.

"When we lost one of our officers," said Dice, "the whole town was upset. It’s just too soon for us to have to go through this again."

Again refers to August.  Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael was also killed in the line of duty.  His funeral was in August at the Community Center.

Now, the community hosts another service.  And on Monday, there will be another funeral.