CLINTON, Mo — Details about the 911 call that placed Officer Christopher Morton at a home in Clinton where he was killed.
New details are emerging in the death of 30-year-old Clinton Police Officer Christopher Ryan Morton.
Those details refer to the location of the original 911 call, and the location that officers were dispatched to.
In a press release today, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the original 911 call consisted of two women arguing on an open line, with nobody speaking directly to 911 operators.
Not able to get a person to relay an address, dispatchers sent officers to the address attached with the call. That address lead officers to the residence in Clinton, where Officer Morton lost his life during an exchange of gunfire with the 37-year-old suspect, James Waters.
After further investigation, that original call with the two distressed women, actually came from about 15 miles away in Windsor, Missouri.
That leaves the question: Why was that address in Clinton paired with the phone call from Windsor?
“What happened when somebody called in, the computer, when it connected the address, it connected the address here in Clinton,” said Sgt. Bill Lowe with Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Lowe says dispatchers sent the officers to 306 Grandriver street in Clinton. When a woman answered the door and said nothing was wrong, police entered the home to make sure.
“Just because somebody says that everything is okay, we can’t take that at face value. We have to continue that investigation,” Lowe says.
Even though the initial 911 call placed officers at an unrelated residence, there were two people there posessing drugs and firearms.
“There was already criminal activity taking place. Yes it is a coincidence that they were called to that specific address, and yes it is tragic that happened,” Lowe says.
One focus of the investigation now is how the Clinton address was linked to a call from Windsor, Mo.
“We want to make sure we are getting the correct information and figure out where that information was misinterpreted, or through the system and how it worked,” Lowe explains.
Regardless of how that investigation ends up, the city of Clinton still faces another period of healing after Officer Gary Michael was killed in the line of duty exactly seven months before.
Michaels’ death left a void in the towns’ small police department, and that void was filled by Officer Chris Morton just a few weeks later.
Officer Morton was with the police department for 3 to 4 years, then went to a reserve capacity.
When Officer Michael was killed, Lowe says he felt the calling to come back to the police department in a full time capacity. Essentially, Morton was Michaels’ replacement.
The woman that answered the door at the residence where Officer Morton was killed is Tammy Widger.
She was arrested today on possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
She is assumed to have lived at the residence with the suspect, James Waters, who was found dead inside the home last night.
As for his cause of death, we await the results of an autopsy.