911 Error Led to Fatal Shooting of MO Officer

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An error led Clinton, Mo., police officers to the wrong address Tuesday night, where a dramatic gunfight ultimately killed an officer, injured two others and left the shooter dead, the Kansas City Star reports. The trace of a 911 call in which two women could be heard screaming — but neither of whom directly spoke to a dispatcher — mistakenly led  police to an address unrelated to the call, according to Sgt. Bill Lowe of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The 911 call actually came from Windsor, Mo., about 20 miles northeast of Clinton. Lowe said officers eventually responded to the Windsor residence on Wednesday after discovering the error.

It is unclear if the mistake was the result of human error or a faulty computer system. “It’s tough to navigate through and deal with,” Lowe said. “This investigation is not complete.” Officer Christopher Ryan Morton, 30, was the officer shot and killed. James Waters, the shooter, also died. “The 911 call that came in was somehow attached to that (Clinton) address,” Lowe said. “We’re confident that is not part of this incident (in Clinton), but the fact remains they were called to that residence. … In order to determine nothing adverse was going on in that residence, they had to make sure everything was OK. That’s when the tragic incident took place.” After the gun battle, methamphetamine was allegedly found at the home, and a resident was charged with possession of the drug with the intent to distribute and with keeping or maintaining a public nuisance. Morton, an Afghanistan War veteran, died in the back room of the house while officers outside pleaded for the gunman to let rescuers in to try to save him. It remains unclear if Waters, 37, took his own life or was killed by police.

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