Company says it gave correct address before officer's death

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Friday, March 16 2018 Mar 16, 2018 Friday, March 16, 2018 10:43:00 AM CDT March 16, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

CLINTON (AP) — A telephone company says its database did not provide the wrong Missouri address and phone number to police dispatchers leading to the shooting of three officers, one fatally.

Police were alerted March 6 about a 911 call in which two women could be heard arguing but made no comment to dispatchers. Clinton police officer Christopher Ryan Morton and two other officers were sent to a home in Clinton to respond to the 911 call. Inside the home, James Waters fired at the officers, killing Morton and injuring the other two. Waters was also fatally shot.

After the shootings, officials determined the 911 call came from a home in Windsor, 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Clinton, and that the women involved in the argument were not connected to the home in Clinton.

Mark Molzen, a spokesman for CenturyLink, which provides a master street address guide for first responders in the area, said in an email to The Kansas City Star Thursday that an internal investigation shows it provided the correct phone number and address.

Henry County 911 Emergency Communications said in a statement March 9 that it believed the error was made in the master street address guide.

On Thursday, Ken Scott, chairman of the county's 911 communications, said he had no reason to challenge CenturyLink's statement. He suggested the Henry County computer assisted dispatching and mapping system may have been unable to interpret and map the address. He said the county recently upgraded its 911 system and it meets Missouri's highest level of service.

"We're looking to see, what do we need to do next to make sure the mapping system is correct," Scott said.

A woman who lived at the home where the officers were shot, Tammy Dee Widger, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in Morton's death. The charge was added to previous drug charges because Morton was killed "as a result of" Widger's alleged drug crime, Henry County prosecutors said.

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