(WJBK) - An investigation is underway into the fatal shooting of an inmate inside a medical transport van on Friday by a deputy with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.
"This was just a chaotic, unbelievable pandemonium. A life or death struggle," said Wayne County Undersheriff Daniel Pfannes.
Investigators say the inmate was Martez Webb. Earlier this month, he and his brother were involved in a robbery gone bad on Annot in Detroit in which a teen girl was named as a suspect.
Police say the victim of the robbery was able to get a hold of the gun killing Webb's bother, and shooting Webb, who spent several days in the hospital. Webb was being transported from an area hospital to the Wayne County Jail when a struggle took place inside the medical vehicle.
"I will not sugarcoat the fact that he put that plan into motion, whatever it may have been, whether it was to escape or to truly injure the other individuals that were there," Pfannes said.
Officials say during the struggle Webb got a hold of the officer's gun.
"The mace that was discharged. I can tell you that at one juncture, the inmate did have control of the officer's firearm," Pfannes said.
Webb was riding in a wheelchair inside the vehicle because he refused to walk, but officials won't say how he was restrained or if he was handcuffed. As the struggle continued in the moving van, the driver of the medical transport belonging to Universal Macomb Ambulance intervened.
"The driver was absolutely key in the firearm being reacquired and the officer gaining control of it again," Pfannes said.
Webb was fatally shot by the officer and an investigation is underway by Detroit Police and Michigan State Police. The officer was injured but was treated and released. And as the investigation continues, officials will see if polices were followed.
Universal-Macomb Ambulance Service, Inc. issued the following statement:
We are incredibly proud of the bravery shown by our employee during the unfortunate event that took place on Friday, November 23rd 2018. We join the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in admiration of his heroic efforts and those of the deputy. We're happy both made it home safely to their loved ones. Our thoughts are with our employee, law enforcement, and the families of everyone involved.