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A Maryland State Police trooper shot and wounded a large pit bull on Wednesday morning in Mechanicsville, according to the agency, after the dog attacked the law officer as she responded to a report of an unconscious person at a residence.

The dog bit and snatched away the trooper’s baton before biting her on the foot, police report, and the dog ran away after being struck by the .40-caliber round.

The trooper, assigned to the agency’s Leonardtown barrack, responded shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday to the home at King Drive, off Loveville Road, where she found a nonresponsive male lying in the back door of the house, according to police. The dog charged and tried to bite the trooper as she entered the residence, and she struck the dog with the baton before it went outside.

The trooper was unable to close the door, however, because of the position of the unconscious person, police report, and moments later, the pit bull attacked her a second time, grabbing the baton and pulling it from her hand. The dog dropped the baton and lunged at the trooper, biting her on the right foot, before she fired the pistol while in fear for her safety.

State police investigators responded to the scene and interviewed area residents “who were familiar with the dog,” the agency reports, and “revealed this pit bull has bitten others in the past.” St. Mary’s animal control officers also responded to search the area for the wounded dog. A county employee said Wednesday afternoon that an initial search did not locate the dog.

jwharton@somdnews.com