Theodore Decker and Matthew Marx, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Copyright 2006 The Columbus Dispatch
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A state corrections officer shot a prison inmate who had stabbed him yesterday while trying to escape from Ohio State University Medical Center, authorities said.
Officer Gary Myers shot Marrion P. Smith in the head after Smith stabbed him in the shoulder with a makeshift knife and ran off, police said.
Smith, 30, had been brought from Mansfield Correctional Institution for an MRI, but has since been admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound in the head, police said.
He was expected to survive his injuries, but hospital and police officials refused to elaborate on his condition.
Myers, 37, wasn't seriously hurt in the attack, which remained under investigation. He was treated at the hospital and released.
Contacted last night at his home, Myers said he felt good, but refused to comment further.
Charges were expected to be filed against Smith today, police said.
Andrea Dean, a state prisons spokeswoman, said Smith is in his second prison term after being convicted last year in Summit County of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and theft.
His current sentence of seven to 25 years began on Nov. 18, she said.
Smith was paroled in 2004 after serving four years for convictions of assault, aggravated robbery and theft out of Summit County, Dean said.
Smith was to be treated for an unspecified medical condition in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging building at 1654 Upham Dr. near Means Hall, police said, when he attacked Myers about 12:30 p.m.
OSU Assistant Police Chief Rick Amweg said the inmate used a homemade prison knife, or shank, to attack Myers as they stood just inside the door of the MRI building. He wouldn't say what the inmate used to fashion the weapon.
"Somehow, some way, he had that with him," Amweg said.
The attack allowed Smith to run outside, but Myers caught up with him almost immediately, in an area between the MRI building and Means Hall, Amweg said.
The two fought, and Myers shot the inmate once with his service weapon. A second corrections officer who also was guarding Smith ran to help and restrained him, he said.
The incident lasted only seconds, Amweg said.
Dean said Myers, a 16-year Department of Rehabilitation and Correction veteran assigned to Mansfield, acted within the department's guidelines for using force.
"He is an exemplary employee who responded appropriately today," she said.
Assigning two corrections officers to guard Smith at the hospital was appropriate, Dean said last night.
The shooting was the second this year at the hospital involving a corrections officer.
In January, one officer shot another in the parking lot after their shifts ended. Police said that shooting was the result of a personal dispute between the officers. The wounded officer survived, and Ronald L. Pruitt, 44, was charged with one count each of felonious assault and aggravated assault.
The hospital is the only one in central Ohio with a contract to treat state inmates.
Corrections officers routinely coordinate with hospital security before bringing in inmates, Amweg said.
Photo, Marrion P. Smith, a Mansfield Correctional Institution inmate, was shot in the head by a corrections officer he stabbed.
Ohio officer stabbed, inmate shot in hospital escape attempt