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 yesterday.
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. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the two officers from Middlesex County were removing the inmate’s handcuffs when the man grabbed for the gun of one of the officers. 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, where he was in stable condition. Wallace, taken to the same hospital, was believed to be in critical condition.
Wallace’s identity was confirmed by the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, where he was held in 2011-12 while awaiting trial on a number of charges, including armed robbery, masked robbery and possession of firearms without an ID.
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 in 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, 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 said.
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.
The Middlesex County Sheriff’s office said it is “focused on the safety and well-being of the officers involved.” The office said it would release more information later. 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.
Materials from the Associated Press were used in this report.