LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – As a wounded Lincoln County deputy shot in the line of duty continues to recover from injuries, support is growing among first responders and community members.

Robert Wagner was shot around 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1500 block of Creech School Road on Thursday while responding to a disturbance. Authorities later found the suspect deceased in a shed, though investigators have not yet disclosed the suspect’s cause of death.

Wagner joined the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in June with around two years of service and had recently completed training to serve in the county.

“He’s the kind of cop everybody wants to work next to,” said Capt. David Hill of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.  

Hill is hopeful Wagner will be released from the hospital in the next four to seven days. He is also grateful for the support being shown by the community.  

“The emails, phone calls, that have come in have been absolutely fantastic,” said Hill.  

There is also support from a recently formed nonprofit.  Members of The 10-78 Project provided support for the department on Friday. The group was founded by law enforcement officers involved in critical incidents and officer-involved shootings. 

“In November 2022, I was involved in an officer-involved shooting, and to say the least, the next couple of days and the weeks to follow were really difficult,” said Matt Frkovic, The 10-78 Project founder. 

The organization’s name comes from the scanner code 10-78, meaning an officer needs assistance.  

On Friday, Frkovic and other members of the group dropped off donated food and offered mental, spiritual, and practical resources.  

“Our goal is to provide immediate assistance to officers and their families as they navigate the time following an officer involved shooting,” said Frkovic. 

Hill said he is also grateful for the response from surrounding agencies, which responded promptly Thursday after Wagner was wounded. He said, “You couldn’t ask for a better community of law enforcement working together.”  

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation into the shooting of Wagner and the death of the suspect, Thomas Varvera.