A man was found dead and a deputy was shot Thursday in an officer-involved shooting east of Joplin in Jasper County. 

Sheriff Randee Kaiser said that neither the man nor the deputy have been identified. Kaiser said the deputy was labeled as being in stable condition from his wound in his lower leg, and will likely be identified Friday. 

The sheriff's office Thursdsay afternoon described the suspect as a bald, white male with short stature and tattoos, wearing no shirt. Later, that man was found dead of a gunshot wound on the property. Kaiser said it was not immediately clear whether the wound was self-inflicted or from a round fired by a deputy. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is now investigating the incident. The suspect has not been identified pending notification of family, Kaiser said. 

Two Jasper County deputies were dispatched Thursday to a property at 5206 Gerbitz Road to investigate a stolen vehicle. At 4:44 p.m., Kaiser said, they located the vehicle in the driveway of the property and attempted to make contact with residents. 

At that time, Kaiser said, a man emerged from the back of the property and fired upon the deputies. One of the deputies was struck in the lower leg. 

"There was no indication when deputies arrived on the scene that it would escalate like this," Kaiser said. "They were just there with the information that a stolen vehicle was on that property, and when they tried to investigate that information, they were fired upon."

Law enforcement agencies set up a 2-by-2-mile perimeter after shots were fired, closing Travis Acres Road near the property. After a drone operated by the sheriff's department located the man, a SWAT team from Joplin Police Department entered and confirmed that he was deceased. 

A helicopter from the highway patrol was used for aerial reconnaisance, Kaiser said. 

Officers with Carl Junction, Carterville, Carthage, Duenweg, Joplin and Webb City assisted the department, Kaiser said. Lawrence County deputies helped answer calls for service in the easternmost parts of the county.  

Follow Digital Editor Joe Hadsall on Twitter at @JoeHadsall.

Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.

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