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A Salt Lake police officer was hospitalized Saturday after he accidentally shot himself in the foot while investigating a shooting.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake police officer was hospitalized Saturday after he accidentally shot himself in the foot.

The incident began about 4:30 a.m. when officers responded to reports of shots being fired near 500 South and Wright Circle (1600 West).

"Responding officers found several shell casings, but nobody was injured at that location," said Salt Lake Police Lt. Mike Ross.

Officers obtained a description of the vehicle and spotted a car matching that description shortly afterward near 1300 N. Redwood. "It fled from officers as they tried to stop it to speak to them about the incident," Ross said.

As the driver fled, he hit a parked vehicle near 1300 N. Mandalay Road (1910 West), then got out and ran. No one else was seen inside the car. Officers set up a containment in the neighborhood to locate the man and called in a police dog to assist them.

“While we were holding containment, one of our officers had an accidental discharge of his weapon, striking himself," Ross said.

The officer, whose name was not released, was apparently holding a rifle when it somehow discharged and struck him in the foot.

"Nobody else was injured. The officer was taken to a hospital where he received treatment and he’s going to be OK, we hope,” the lieutenant said.

The injured officer is new to the department, but previously worked for another police agency.

Officers later located a man suspected in the initial shooting incident at his home and detectives were questioning him Saturday, according to Ross.

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