RCMP say a police dog managed to pull the trigger of a handgun and discharge the weapon after the animal located the discarded firearm following an assault outside a grocery store in Chestermere, Alta.

The police dog wasn't injured in the incident, which happened Thursday evening in the community of about 20,000 people located just east of Calgary city limits.

Chestermere RCMP responded to a report of an assault with a weapon in a grocery store parking lot around 6:30 p.m.

Police say two men assaulted a third man and, during the attack, one brandished a handgun, but no shots were fired.

Bystanders intervened and the attackers fled on foot.

The victim was treated for minor injuries in hospital and quickly released.

Dog assisted in search

Meanwhile, officers with RCMP Police Dog Services looked for the attackers in a nearby wooded area, where the dog came across the handgun and discharged it.

No one was injured.

Police are still looking for the attackers, who are both described as dark-skinned males with dark hair, between five feet nine inches and five feet 11 inches in height with slim builds.

One was wearing a black hoodie and black pants and the other a black shirt and baseball cap with blue jeans.

Police said they believe it was a targeted attack and not a threat to public safety.

Anyone who witnessed the assault or has information about the incident is asked to call Chestermere RCMP at 403-204-8777 or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or www.tipsubmit.com.