Deputy shoots man holding medical student hostage at Ben Taub Hospital

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Houston Police Department says a Harris County sheriff's deputy shot and wounded an inmate at Ben Taub Hospital who was holding a female medical student. According to police, the inmate, Ricky Lynn Hall, had a metal "edged weapon" in his hand when he was shot.
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Houston police discussed a shooting today at Ben Taub Hospital

Police said the 46-year-old inmate took a piece of metal from inside of a pair of headphones provided by the hospital, and made one end into a point. Hall allegedly held that metal object to the student's throat, and a sheriff's deputy - who was working overtime guarding the floor - heard the student scream and rushed into Hall's room.

Deputies told Eyewitness News the incident happened on the fifth floor of the hospital, which is under construction.

Eyewitness News obtained this photo of the floor where the shooting happened.

The deputy told investigators he asked Hall to drop the weapon, but he refused. Police say Hall threatened to kill the student unless the deputy shot him. That's when, police say the student tried to free herself from Hall's grip, and the deputy, fearing for the student's safety, shot Hall.

The deputy shot Hall twice in the chest and he is currently in critical condition. At the time of the shooting, Hall was located in the stroke unit -- which holds a mixed population, according to Houston police.

The medical student was not hurt in the standoff.

VIDEO: Eyewitness describes what she saw at Ben Taub
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Eyewitnesses describe what they saw during a shooting at Ben Taub Hospital

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said Hall was a Harris County inmate who was being treated for seizures at the hospital. Hall has a long criminal history, including convictions for drug charges, assault, DWI, forgery and burglary.

Hall had been in jail on an aggravated family violence motion. However, Sheriff Hickman said Hall was scheduled to be released today.

VIDEO: Samica Knight reports on shots fired at Ben Taub Hospital
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An investigation is underway after a deputy-involved shooting at Ben Taub Hospital.

We're following this story on Eyewitness News. Watch for updates on air, online and on our mobile news app.

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