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Deputy shot, inmate critically wounded at Boston hospital

Police officers stand outside Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston on Wednesday.
Police officers stand outside Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston on Wednesday.WHDH-TV

A prisoner tried to wrestle a gun away from a sheriff's deputy Wednesday at a Boston hospital, firing a bullet into the deputy's leg, before a second deputy shot the inmate in the chest, authorities said.

Both men, who weren't immediately identified, were being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital. The prisoner was in critical condition, while the deputy was reported stable with non-life-threatening injuries.

The two Middlesex County deputies had taken the handcuffed inmate to Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary for treatment shortly before noon ET, said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

Once the handcuffs were removed in the lobby of the emergency department, the prisoner made a grab for one of the deputies' guns, he said.

"The two individuals fell to the floor and a round was fired, and one of the deputy sheriffs suffered a gunshot wound to the leg," Davis said. "At that point in time, the other sheriff apparently discharged his weapon, striking the suspect."

Davis said the facility was put on temporary lockdown but wasn't evacuated. 

"Everybody is either in the hospital or in custody," he said.

Jennifer Street, a vice president at the Infirmary, said the hospital was open but "our emergency department is closed for now."

The Middlesex County Sheriff's Office said it had no immediate comment. 

"Right now, we are focused on the safety and well-being of the officers involved," it said in a brief statement.

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