Two men have been charged after a sheriff was shot in the hand at a Whitecourt, Alta., courthouse Tuesday.

Two prisoners were being transported when a scuffle ensued and shots rang out Tuesday morning. The prisoners then fled in the sheriff’s van, but were apprehended a short time later near a farmhouse just outside town.

Clayton Ness, 29, and Jake MacIntyre, 22, both of Whitecourt, face a number of charges, including aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and escape from lawful custody.

They are scheduled to appear in provincial court on March 12.

The sheriff was initially taken to a local hospital but later transferred to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, where he is said to be in stable condition and waiting to undergo surgery.

Alberta Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said Wednesday there will be a review of security at the courthouse in Whitecourt, a community located about 180 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

"We will have our own internal investigation to see what could have been done, if anything, to prevent this casualty," he said Wednesday.

The suspects were among six who were arrested during a drug bust in Whitecourt last week. Police say they found cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and an illegal firearm during the raid.

With files from The Canadian Press