CLINTON, N.C. (WNCN) — The Sampson County Sheriff is blaming short staffing for an attack by a jail inmate that injured a deputy this week.

The incident took place Tuesday at the Sampson County Jail and left a detention officer with a “serious” injury, according to Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton.

Thornton has been critical of a “lack of appropriate funding” from county leaders to help hire more deputies and pay more to detention officers and deputies.

On Tuesday, only seven officers were working at the jail — which is a job for nine officers, Thornton said. Two of the seven were working overtime and another was pulled from a different shift.

“The shortage of officers resulted [in] my detention officer being forced to escort a known violent inmate alone – when two officers should have been present to escort the inmate,” Thornton said in a Facebook post.