BY TOM DALTON AND JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — A Salem man awaiting trial in two armed holdups was critically injured in an exchange of gunfire with sheriff's deputies inside a Boston hospital today.
Raymond K. Wallace, 35, who was living at Courageous Court prior to his arrest two years ago, shot a deputy sheriff after a struggle with the officer's gun, then was shot and critically wounded by a second deputy, according to police.
The incident happened around noon in the emergency room of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, where Wallace was being taken for treatment, police said.
Wallace's identity was confirmed by the Essex County Sheriff's Department, where he was held in 2011-12 for trial.
He was transferred to the Middlesex County Sheriff in September 2012 because he had some "enemy issues" at the Middleton Jail, according to Deputy Maurice Pratt of the Essex County Sheriff's Department.
Wallace has been mulling a proposed 13- to 25-year state prison term for two armed holdups, one in December 2010 at the now-closed Borders Books and Music on Route 114 in Peabody, and the second in March 2011 at the PetSmart on Highland Avenue in Salem. He was due back in court Sept. 10 for a change of plea hearing.
Wallace donned a rubber mask, police say, similar to the ones worn by characters in the movie "The Town," during the holdups, and in both cases burned the vehicles that he allegedly used to flee the scene.
Police arrested him in the parking area of his rented condo, where they found a cache of weapons, protective gear and police-style clothing.
At the time, he was just months from completing his parole in a 2001 armed burglary in Waltham, during which he was also shot by police.
For more on this story, see tomorrow's Salem News.