CLINTON, Mo. — Clinton said farewell to its second police officer in seven months.
Mourners remembered Ofc. Ryan Morton, the 30-year-old officer shot and killed answering a call last week.
Family, friends, and strangers alike, joined to say farewell to a fallen hero.
Christopher “Ryan” Morton was remembered as a man of service. He served his community; he served the citizens of Missouri; and he served the nation.
“Ryan was one of a kind. He would have given the shirt off his back for anyone,” said his uncle, Brian Bennett.
Those who came to pay their respects learned that Morton was the son of high school sweethearts from Virginia. His father traveled the world while serving in the Air Force, but Morton wanted to make his life here, in Missouri.
His relatives and friends said he never met a stranger, as a childhood friend who is black reminded the family.
“Some of the kids had maybe mentioned something to Ryan about the fact that Darnell was black. Ryan kind of turned to Darnell he said, ‘I thought you were just an American,'” Ryan’s uncle Brian recalled. “That’s who Ryan was. He got it.”
People found officer Morton’s easy-going manner to be likable, as fellow officers he served with are quick to attest.
“Ryan was a positive person. He would not want us to be sad today. If he were here he would tell us to cheer up,” said Derek Foreman, a fellow officer and one of Ryan’s best friends. “He’d tell us to smile and remember all the great memories we all shared together.”
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said he’s gotten to know the people of Clinton all too well with the deaths of two police officers in less than a year’s time.
“When officer Michael gave his life, officer Morton stepped in the gap. He stepped forward to serve,” Greitens said. “Those two warriors are together now, in the company of God who has called his sons home.
Deputy Police Chief Sonny Lynch took the podium to read the Policeman’s Prayer, and to speak out to Ryan directly. He told the late officer to seek out Ofc. Gary Michael in the afterlife.
“This is the promise from me and Chief Miller and the men. We came after you that night. We were too late. We will come again,” Lynch said. “We’ll come one at a time, but we’ll come. Find Gary and wait for us, brother. We will come. We will not quit.”
Watch the entire service below: