The Essex County Sheriff's Department said an officer heard gunshots coming from in front of a city barn around 2 a.m. Saturday in Lawrence and chased a gray Honda Accord with three males inside, The (North Andover) Eagle-Tribune reported Monday.
Officer Jess Hart said the vehicle "fled at a high rate of speed" and he spotted Jose Calderon, 28, jump from the back of the car and begin "burying something in the snow."
Ivan, a police dog handled by Lt. John Pickles of the Essex County Sheriff's Department, located the Ruger handgun in a snow bank and accidentally discharged the weapon with his paw. No one was injured, police said.
The gun was determined to have been stolen Oct. 2 in New Hampshire.
Calderon, Alexander Gonzalez, 21, and Jorge Henriquez, 26, were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, receiving a firearm with a defaced serial number and receiving stolen property. Calderon was also charged with discharging a firearm within 150 feet of a highway and carrying a firearm without a license. In addition, Henriquez was charged with speeding.