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Officer accidentally shot at firing rangeTony LaRussa


A Kennedy cop shot a fellow officer in the buttocks Friday morning when his gun accidentally discharged at the pistol firing range at the Allegheny County Police Academy in North Park.

Officer Aaron Dhanse was taken to Mercy Hospital, Uptown, after being shot by Officer Dan Saniga while the two were at the firing range for Act 120 firearm certification, according to Kennedy Commissioner Anthony Mollica.

Dhanse spent the night in the hospital and was released Saturday morning, according to Mollica. How long Dhanse will be off work is unknown, Mollica said.

"He is in good spirts," Mollica said.

The two cops were in a room at the range where officers clean their weapons, Mollica said.

"Obviously all of us are very concerned when anything like this occurs," said Mollica, who chairs the township's public safety committee.

"In spite of everything that happened, we're grateful that this wasn't more serious and that Aaron is home recuperating and will be OK," said Mollica, who called the two men "solid officers who have been a great additions to our police force."

Allegheny County police are investigating. They could not be reached for comment.

Mollica said Dhanse and Saniga are both in their 30s and typically work the night shift together. Kennedy has 11 full-time police officers including the police chief.

Saniga, who was hired in Kennedy in 2002, serves as the township's DARE officer and is a Navy veteran. He formerly worked as a police officer in Monaca, Beaver County. Dhanse was a police officer in Stowe before being hired in Kennedy in 2003.

Neither Dhanse nor Saniga could be reached for comment.

Saniga's father, Daniel Sangina Sr., said his son was "pretty upset" after the incident and visited with his parish priest.

"He took it pretty hard. You'd have thought he was the one who was shot," Saniga said.
 
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