The community of Clinton is heartbroken yet again as, for the second time in seven months, a police officer was shot and killed.
Officers were sent to a home about 10 p.m. Tuesday after a frantic 911 call in which women were heard screaming in the background. When officers arrived at the home, located in the 300 block of West Grandriver Street, the suspect was barricaded inside.
Shots rang out, hitting three officers, as they entered the home in an attempt to arrest the suspect.
Clinton Police Department officer Christopher Ryan Morton, 30, was killed during the shooting.
Two other officers were injured during the shooting. One suffered "moderate" injuries while the other suffered minor injuries, according to a spokesperson for the Missouri Highway Patrol.
The suspect was found dead shortly after midnight when members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol SWAT team entered the home.
Officials say Morton served with distinction for the citizens of Clinton as a full-time police officer from February 2015 to January 2017. He stayed with the department as a reserve officer until again returning to full-time duty shortly after Clinton Police officer Gary Michael was killed in the line of duty in August of 2017.
"Our hearts ache for our brothers in blue at the CPD," the Clinton Fire Department said in a statement. "Our community has lost another public servant due to a police officer-involved shooting. We are praying and ask that each of you pray for all involved and especially for the family of the officer who was killed in the line of duty this evening."
The Clinton Fire Department posted during the incident that everyone should avoid the area and the shooter is barricaded inside the home.
"We urge everyone to please avoid the area as the shooter is still barricaded inside the residence," the fire department said in a statement. "Please understand the emotional side of this event for those involved and please refrain from posting on social media any information obtained by either radio traffic or by means of speculation."
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe says the law enforcement community is saddened by the tragic event.
"It's hard to put into words what you go through when you have an officer killed in a line of duty," Lowe said. "And then to have it happen to a department after a short period of time, it's hard to wrap your head around."
Lowe spoke about the bravery of the Clinton Police Department and the community.
"It goes without saying that these officers put themselves in jeopardy on a daily basis. Especially for this community, they're going to have to have another healing process take place," Lowe said.
Officers took a woman into custody at the scene. They did not say why she was arrested.
The Clinton Fire Department is also flying a Thin Blue Line flag outside their headquarters.
Officers from the Clinton Police Department, Henry County Sheriff's Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were called to the scene during the incident.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt released the following statement on the death of Morton:
"Officer Christopher Morton put his life on the line in service to his community and our nation, and we are deeply saddened by his loss," Blunt said. "Officer Morton's death is yet another stark reminder of the danger our law enforcement men and women face every day. Every time they put on the uniform, they put our lives and our safety ahead of their own. We are forever grateful to them and their families for their sacrifice. Our thoughts are with Officer Morton's family, the two officers who were injured, and the Clinton Police Department."