Working inside a prison facility is no easy task. Many prisoners are violent criminals who do not want to be there and work to find a way out. Some attack deputies while they are being transferred from one wing to another.
On the Way To The Clinic
In Houston, a Harris County sheriff's deputy was taking an inmate into the hospital for a medical exam. Shots were heard from the Ben Taub Hospital bathroom, according to Nurse Manager Gina Shanker, who works on the 5th floor.
She said she heard noises from the restroom by her office. Shanker saif to KTRK, " Pretty much steps from my office when we heard the commotion, and later on, gunshots."
The sounds and noises that Shanker heard in the bathroom were a struggle between inmate Thaddeus Lewis and one of the sheriff's deputies. Somehow Lewis got his hands on the officer's gun and shot him in the left hand, according to authorities.
According to Shanker, one of the hospital technicians knew at that moment that she needed to help the deputy.
Coming to the Officer's Aid
The nurse wished that her identity be kept anonymous.
“She was on her way home towards the end of the clinic. That’s when she heard somebody asking for help – yelling for help – in the men’s restroom.”Nurse Manager Shanker
The technician bravely ran into the men's bathroom to help. Shanker said, “I could not imagine how brave she was. The thing that came into her mind was, ‘I need to help. I need to help the officer.'”
Shanker has been with the hospital for 33 years and has never seen anything like this happen before.
Hospital in Lockdown
The hospital quickly employed their active shooter protocols, and everyone either found a spot to safely hide or sheltered in place.
The inmate was subdued by hospital employees who assisted the injured deputy in taking Lewis into custody. It took about 20 minutes to get a handle on the situation, and the lockdown was lifted.
The injured deputy has been with the department for 36 years. His wound was cared for at the hospital, and he is recovering at his home. Lewis added aggravated assault to his charges, and the incident is being investigated by the Harris County District Attorney's Office.