Slain Clinton officer returned to job to replace officer killed in line of duty last fall

Posted at 8:17 AM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 18:59:30-05

CLINTON, Mo. — The Clinton police officer killed in a shootout Tuesday had just returned to the force last fall to fill in for the loss of Ofc. Gary Michael, the officer killed in a traffic stop shooting in August 2017. 

Ofc. Christopher Ryan Morton, 30, was an Army veteran who served two tours and was a member of the Missouri Army National Guard. He joined the Clinton Police Department in 2015, then left in early 2017 for a job at the VA in Kansas City. 

Michael would've been a fresh face at the department when Morton decided to take the VA job. With the help of a Gladstone police officer, Michael completed the academy and got a job with the Clinton Police Department about a year before the August 6 shooting that took his life.

Morton stayed on as a reserve officer during his time in Kansas City. He came back to the force full-time in late September 2017, just a few weeks after Michael's death.

Before his time behind the badge, Morton was honored at a 2014 Royals game for his service overseas. Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie presented him with a plaque and posted on Twitter about the ceremony. 

You can watch video of the ceremony here

EXTENDED COVERAGE — Clinton officer, 30, shot dead responding to 911 call of woman screaming