Witnesses in Clinton, Mo. talk of gunshots, blood and chaos
In terror, neighbors watched a horrifying gun battle outside their windows, seeing wounded Clinton, Mo., police officers shepherded to safety under fire, and learning later that one officer was dead.
Sometimes in tears, they recounted a scene that played out for hours before officers could go in the home to retrieve the slain officer, Ryan Morton. The alleged gunman, James E. Waters, also was dead.
Sheryl Long, who lives directly across the street of the one-story home at 306 W. Grandriver, witnessed the entire scene. She heard gunshots around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday and stepped outside.
She could see the body of the dying officer in a back hallway.
She heard officers outside shouting to Morton.
"Hang on buddy, we're here, we're here," Long said they yelled. "Stay with us, stay with us!"
''Please let us get our wounded officer out. There is no need for anyone else to get hurt. There's been enough damage," Long recounting them yelling.
At least 50 troopers, deputies and officers surrounded the home, which is outfitted with five roof-top cameras and two motion detectors.
The block was quickly filled with a swarm of law officers from multiple departments, and Long saw the fire flashing from the ends of their gun barrels.
Five of the officers used Long's house to shield themselves from the gunman. An officer later called her and told her to move to the back of the house.
She complied and waited several hours as the officers continued to exchange gunfire -- at least 20 to 30 gunshots -- and plead with Waters to get to their officer.
"They kept calling his name," Long said. "It was very sad, so senseless."
Tammy Widger, who was in the house and arrested Wednesday morning, lived there for at least six years, and the man identified as Waters lived there off and on for at least that long as well. Waters had been seen coming and going a lot in the past few days, she said.
Karen Conroy, who lives on the block, heard the first gun shot and was horrified by what she saw.
More gun shots sounded and she heard a woman screaming.
"It kept going, boom, boom, boom."
Then she saw two officers bring a wounded officer by her house toward an ambulance at the corner.
The escorting officers each had an arm around the wounded officer, "but he kept collapsing," Conroy said. "They kept trying to pick him up."
"It was so sad."
Littleton's brother, Anthony Haverland, 25, heard a big boom and then about five seconds later he saw an officer emptying his clip into the house from outside the house.
Neighbors saw two officers come out of the house. One was tying off the bloodied left arm of the other officer.
Haverland said shooting continued inside the house for an hour or hour and a half. Teams of tactical officers surrounded the house and yelled 30 or 40 times for the suspect to surrender, to come out of the house with his hands up.