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A veteran Los Angeles police officer was severely injured Thursday when a police dog bit him in the calf during a search for a missing shotgun in South L.A., department officials said.

Officers were searching streets near South Vermont Avenue and West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard after a locking mechanism broke and the shotgun fell off a police motorcycle sometime Thursday afternoon.

The police dog was brought in to help with the search, LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said, and at some point bit the patrol officer.

The dog bit a significant part of the officer’s leg, officials said. His partner used a first-aid trauma kit — one of 8,000 the Police Commission approved for officers earlier this year — to make a tourniquet that one LAPD official said likely saved the officer’s life.

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