RICHMOND (KCBS)— A Richmond police dog is in critical condition after being shot by a police officer who the dog bit Tuesday morning, according to a police sergeant.

The officer, who was forced to defend himself, suffered serious injuries in the incident that occurred in a secured area of the Richmond Police Department parking lot at 1701 Regatta Blvd. between 6:45 and 7 a.m., police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said. The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The four-year-officer was arriving for work, still in his street clothes, when he came inside the fenced department parking lot. That’s when the Belgian Malinois, who was supposed to be inside a police car, attacked. Captain Mark Gagan says the officer had to pull his gun and fire to stop the biting.

The dog’s handler was inside the building for a meeting, but there are protocols in place to keep the dogs contained when unattended. It isn’t clear how the dog managed to get out.

“The dogs are really supposed to be cued to use force. We have to figure out what chain of events led to the officer being bitten,” Gagan said. 

It is early in the investigation, but Gagan said the incident was captured on Closed Circuit Television.

The dog is one of six police dogs on staff.

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