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Wounded Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy recovering after surgery

Six-year veteran of the force is injured in a shootout after deputies try to serve a warrant in Cedar Hill. SWAT officers shoot and kill 36-year-old suspect.

CEDAR HILL, Mo. — A Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy was shot and wounded Friday night while deputies were serving a search warrant.

It happened about 10:45 near Cedar Hill in connection with a missing-persons and possible homicide case. Investigators say SWAT team members exchanged gunfire with the suspect for a couple of hours before he was shot and killed.

Sheriff Dave Marshak said: “The SWAT officers were actually on scene for a while before the suspect knew they were on scene. So once the suspect knew they were on scene, officers were immediately met with gunfire.”

The suspect was identified as Anthony Legens, 36, of Cedar Hill, Marshak later posted in a tweet. Legens was wanted in at least one recent missing-persons case and has a long history of offenses. 

Marshak said he was known to law enforcement and was actively trying to kill officers Friday night.

After the confrontation between Legens and SWAT officers, a search of the suspect's home turned up a dead body. No identity had been released Saturday evening. Officers said the person had been dead before the shootout.

Near the scene of the shooting, which was in the 8000 block of Lake Drive, law enforcement set up a command post in the parking lot of Radeackar’s Market, with expectations that Legens would not comply with their demands. 

Marshak said the injured deputy is a six-year veteran of the department and part of the Special Operations Division/SWAT.

“He’s one of our best,” Marshak said. “A SWAT officer, he is well trained. Disciplined. He’s a great officer. If anybody can pull through, I think he’s going to be fine.”

Marshak said Legens fired multiple shots at law enforcement officers before he was shot and killed.

“He’s confirmed deceased, on the scene,” said Marshak, “and that’s part of the investigation. He died as a result of gunfire exchanged with deputies.”

“The search warrant was obtained as a result of our detective bureau,” said Marshak. “They’ve been working a case for some time related to a missing person that they suspect is a victim of homicide. That’s what brought them to this location.”

Marshak said the deputy was shot below his tactical vest, likely in the leg. In an update Saturday afternoon, Marshak said the deputy's surgery went well, and he is expected to recover.

Before serving the search warrant, officers conducted on-scene surveillance and intelligence gathering.

RELATED: Suspect dead, SWAT officer injured after shootout in Jefferson County