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Database Error May Have Created A 'Perfect Storm' In Clinton, Missouri, Officer Shooting

Missouri State Highway Patrol

Henry County 911 Emergency Communications said in a statement late Friday afternoon that a database error may have led to Clinton, Missouri, police officers being sent to the wrong address, where one officer died.

Officer Christopher Ryan Morton was shot and killed while responding to a 911 call Tuesday evening at an address on Grandriver Street in Clinton. Two other officers were wounded by James E. Waters, who was later found dead in the house. The cause of his death is still being investigated.

Authorities acknowledged Wednesday that the call had come from a landline in Windsor, Missouri, about 20 miles from the address where officers were sent. They did not know then why officers were sent to the wrong address.

On Friday, Henry County 911 Emergency Communications said there was an error in the Master Street Address Guide database.

"Our computer guided information from the Master Street Address Guide maintained by an independent company that provides tracing services repeatedly indicated the location of the call was located on Grandriver St., in Clinton, complete with longitude and latitude coordinates for that location instead of the Windsor address,” Henry County 911 said in a statement.

The statement confirmed that the 911 call was made from a land line and lasted about 45 seconds. The dispatcher could hear two women arguing but no one responded to multiple attempts to get more information.

The statement from Henry County 911 Emergency called the scenario of the apparent database error and the open line a “perfect storm.”

“The reaction of the occupant of the Grandriver St. home was catastrophic and could not have been anticipated,” the statement said.

Henry County 911 Emergency Communications said that “occasional” errors have been found in the past and corrected.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the Missouri Highway Patrol is “not focusing on investigating the dispatch error, instead solely putting its focus into investigating the killing of Officer Morton.”

Maria Carter is the news director for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @mariacarter.

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