BOSTON (AP/MyFoxBoston.com) – An inmate being taken for treatment at a specialty hospital shot a deputy sheriff after a struggle over the officer's gun Wednesday, then was shot and critically wounded by a second deputy, police said.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the shooting happened around noon in the emergency room of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The two officers from Middlesex County were removing the inmate's handcuffs when the man grabbed for the gun of one of the officers, he said. During the struggle that followed, one of the deputies was shot in the leg.
The other deputy sheriff then fired his weapon, striking the prisoner in the chest, Davis said.
The officer was taken to nearby Massachusetts General Hospital. He is recovering and expected to be OK. The inmate was taken to the same hospital in critical condition.
Davis said no one else was involved.
"It's all been contained," Davis said. "Everybody is either in the hospital or in custody."
A FOX 25 source says the deputy who was shot is Jon Persson and the other deputy who shot the suspect is Sean Lee.
Essex County Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy Maurice Pratt said the prisoner is Raymond K. Wallace, 35, of Salem, who was transferred from the Essex jail to Middlesex County last year for his own protection after authorities learned he had "enemy issues" among some Essex inmates. Wallace awaits trial on armed robbery, masked robbery and firearms charges from 2011.
A source told FOX 25 Wallace may have gotten into a fight in prison to earn him a trip to the hospital to escape. And this isn't the first time Wallace has challenged police. Back in 2001, he took a bullet in Waltham while struggling with officers there.
Wallace faces life without parole because of the state's three strikes law.
The Suffolk District Attorney's office says Wallace is now charged via a Boston Municipal Court complaint with unlawful possession of a firearm, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a public employee, and escape. He is expected to survive his injuries, but clinical staff will make the call as to when he's fit to be arraigned. Those proceedings are not expected Thursday.
Jennifer Street, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, said the hospital remained open, but the emergency room was closed until 6 p.m. while authorities investigated.
The Middlesex County Sheriff's office said it is "focused on the safety and well-being of the officers involved."
Boston is located in Suffolk County, and the Suffolk District Attorney's office is working with police on the investigation. The district attorney's office reviews use of potential deadly force by officers.
Statement of the Middlesex Sheriff's Office:
"We are working with the Boston Police Department regarding an incident involving two officers from the Middlesex Sheriff's Office at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary today. We will release more details when we are able, and are right now focused on the safety and well-being of the officers involved."
Statement from the Suffolk District Attorney's office:
"As with any use of potentially-deadly force by a public safety official in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, the Suffolk DA's office will review today's incident at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary involving two Middlesex County deputy sheriffs and one inmate. An assistant district attorney assigned to the DA's Senior Trial Unit has already been assigned and will work with police investigators in the days and weeks to come. The latest information I have is that one deputy sheriff was wounded and is expected to survive his injury; the inmate is more seriously injured and while I don't have specific information on his condition he is not expected to be arraigned today. We'll advise if that changes."