A Lawrence County deputy survived an assault from a knife-wielding assailant who ambushed the officer near an abandoned building south of Miller at around 11 p.m. on Saturday night.
According to Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay, the deputy was on patrol when he spotted a man walking down a road wearing a hooded shirt. The man ran off, and the deputy chased him.
After losing sight of the man, the deputy was grabbed from behind by the individual as the officer approached an abandoned building. Another man walked up to the officer with a knife. In the ensuing struggle, the deputy fired shots at the two men. He reported that he didn't know if either of his assailants were hit.
In response to the attack, deputies from Lawrence and Jasper counties as well as Miller and Mt. Vernon police officers and troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted a search for the two men. Tracking dogs and a helicopter were used in the search but the men were not found.
DeLay believes his deputy interupted a methamphetamine-making operation. During their manhunt, officers discovered the makings of a meth lab in the abandoned building.
The deputy who was attacked had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department is seeking information from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area where the officer was attacked.
Anyone with information is asked to call 417-466-2131. All calls will be kept confidential.