BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A valet at a Boston hospital who was shot in the eye by police as officers confronted a man armed with what they thought was a real gun has sued his employer, saying the hospital’s security staff mishandled the situation.

Justin Desmarais, a valet at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was doing his job on Feb. 7, 2020, when he ended up with a gunshot wound to the head and right eye that left bullet fragments in his brain, according to the suit filed last month in Suffolk Superior Court, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

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The events were set in motion by Juston Root, who was armed with a paintball gun.

Surveillance video of police confronting Juston Root outside Brigham and Women’s Hospital on February 7, 2020. (Suffolk District Attorney’s office)

Root had a history of mental health and substance abuse issues and was charged with assaulting police officers in 2013.

When hospital security first interacted with Root, he was nonsensical, the lawsuit said.

Juston Root (Image from YouTube)

When Root showed his paintball gun, security bungled their response, mischaracterized the threat when they summoned police, and escalated matters while waiting for officers to arrive, the lawsuit said.

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Investigators eventually determined it was a police officer’s bullet that ricocheted off something and hit Desmarais.

A spokesperson said Brigham and Women’s Hospital does not comment on pending litigation.

The suit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Root fled the area in a car and was fatally shot by police a few miles away.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSBoston.com Staff