(Clinton, Mo.--03/12/18) Hundreds attended the funeral of a fallen Clinton police officer who was fatally shot in the line of duty last week.
Hundreds if not thousands of mourners paid their respects to officer Ryan Morton. Mourners packed Benson Community Center and then lined the roadways for the funeral procession.
"Ryan was a man of service. He served this community, he served the citizens of Missouri, and he served our nation, explains Bryan Bennett, Officer Morton's uncle.
Clinton Police Officer Morton was fatally shot answering a disturbance call late Tuesday last week. Two others were also shot during the incident.
"You we’re Ryan’s family, he loved you, he had a passion for you, that’s what makes him special."
Bennett says it’s not his commanding presence as an officer that people will remember the most. Instead it’s his softer side, the side everyone seemed to love.
"Ryan and that little crooked smile that he had would just reach into your heart and grab it and you’d just fall in love with it."
For those like Clinton Police Officer Derek Foreman who knew him best, today was a way to not only say goodbye, but to honor and remember him always.
"We should not dwell on the loss of our hero. Today we are here to celebrate Ryan’s life and remember are the remarkable things Ryan accomplish and how wonderful his life was," explains Officer Foreman.
Gov. Greitens was also in attendance to pay his respects to the fallen veteran. He encouraged other officers and the city of Clinton to take pride in the courage of the fallen officer showed during the violent exchange of gunfire last week, following the death of officer Gary Michael just seven months ago.
"This community has seen tragedy. We all know Clinton is not a large town but it’s people are strong and you know you’re entire state stands with you. Today and the days, the weeks, the months, and the years ahead in your grief , in your pride, and your love for Ryan," explains Gov. Greitens.
Through his time on the job he made an unforgettable impression on his superiors like Captain Sunny Lynch, Deputy Chief, Clinton Police Department, and his colleagues, who say his memory and his sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"We came after you that night but we we’re too late .We will come again. We’ll come one at a time, but we’ll come. Find Gary and wait for us brother, we will and we will not quit," explains Lynch.
In order of Gov. Greitens, flags will fly half staff to honor and remember the life of Officer Morton.