CLINTON, Mo. — A Clinton police officer died and two other officers were hurt in a shooting at a home in the small Missouri town late Tuesday evening.
Ofc. Christopher Ryan Morton died in the shooting, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The 30-year-old had been with the department, then returned to the force after a shooting last year killed Clinton police officer Gary Michael.
In a news conference early Wednesday morning, Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said officers responded to a 911 call at 9:20 p.m. local time in which a woman was screaming in the background.
When police arrived at the home, Sgt. Lowe said a man fired at the responding officers from inside the residence.
The officers then returned fire and went inside the home. When they went inside, the suspect shot and killed one officer and hurt two others.
The officers got out of the home and crews took them to the hospital.
The suspect then barricaded himself inside.
Around 12:10 am, the Highway Patrol SWAT team went into the home and found the suspect dead. It is not yet known if the suspect died as a result of the gun battle with police or if it was self-inflicted.
The injured officers were receiving treatment at hospitals in the Kansas City area, and according to Sgt. Lowe, their injuries are not life-threatening.
"The Clinton Police Department is a well respected police department," said Sgt. Lowe. "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."
Cassie Toliver, who lives near where the shooting took place, said police vehicles, sirens and lights quickly filled the streets and law enforcement barricaded the area from both sides.
In a phone interview with Scripps station KSHB in Kansas City just after 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Toliver said she could hear gun shots around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday.
"We can still hear shots being fired," said Toliver. "We don’t whether that’s the shooter or the cops because it’s so dark outside.”
The two women who called 911 were not injured, Sgt. Lowe said. "We will be speaking with them right away."
Sgt. Lowe said Morton had been with the department for a while.
"It's hard to put into words what you go through when you have an officer killed in the line of duty," said Sgt. Lowe.
Tuesday night's shooting happened exactly seven months after Clinton police officer Gary Michael was shot and killed in the line of duty.
"It's just another tragic event for this community and this police department," Sgt. Lowe said. "They've endured a lot and they are going to endure more. Everyone's thoughts and prayers would be appreciated."
Sgt. Lowe said the officer who was shot and killed Tuesday night came back to the department after Ofc. Michael was killed.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.