Three Missouri Officers Shot, One Killed In Hours-Long Shootout

Anders Hagstrom | Justice Reporter

Three Missouri police officers were shot and one died from his wounds when they responded to the wrong home on a house call Tuesday night in Clinton, Mo. The shooting suspect was also shot and killed.

Officer Christopher Morton, 30, was shot as he and two other officers entered a home in Clinton after receiving a disturbance call from a home that was actually 15 miles away, The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday. The dispatcher gave the wrong address, but there was criminal activity going on inside the home. James Waters and Tammy Widger, both 37, were involved in drug use and Waters had a standing warrant. Morton’s two fellow officers, Nathan Bettencourt and Nicholas Kasper, were able to pull back to positions outside the house despite their injuries. Morton, however, bled out as police begged the shooter to let them retrieve him.

“It is a coincidence they were called to that specific address,” Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe told Fox News. “It is tragic that happened. But the fact is they were in the act of committing crimes within that house. When entered that house, they were doing what they needed to ensure no one was hurt and there wasn’t any other problems.”

Police shouted and exchanged fire with Waters over the course of three hours.

“Hang on buddy, we’re here, we’re here. Stay with us, stay with us,” police shouted according to neighbors. “Please let us get our wounded officer out. There is no need for anyone else to get hurt. There’s been enough damage.”

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A SWAT team later entered the home and found Waters dead. They then arrested Widger. Waters was facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. Widger was booked on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and has now been charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Officer Morton was an Army veteran who was deployed twice to Afghanistan and joined the Army National Guard in 2005.

The incident was the third attack on multiple police officers to include a fatality in recent months. A U.S. marshal was killed and two other officers were injured in an attack in Pennsylvania in January, and a lone gunman in Colorado killed one deputy and shot four others along with and two civilians in December.

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