North Charleston police Sgt. Eddie Bullard apparently was shot with his own gun Wednesday morning while struggling with a shadowy suspect for control of the pistol, according to a police report.

Bullard, 34, said he saw a man in black standing beside Carpet Wholesalers store at 6929 Rivers Ave. around 4:30 a.m. Bullard tried to stop the man, but the man would not acknowledge him, according to a police report.

Suddenly, Bullard said, a second man jumped him from behind and they began struggling over his pistol. Bullard told officers two rounds were fired from his service weapon. One round apparently slammed into his protective vest, but did not penetrate his abdomen, police said.

Bullard said today he feels lucky to be alive and hopes to return to work soon.

Bullard, a 15-year veteran of the North Charleston Police Department, said the bullet’s impact was very painful but it doesn’t appear it caused any lasting damage beyond some nasty bruising and possible torn muscle.

“There is a lot of bruising,” Bullard said. “It’s a hurtful thing. But I’m doing well.”

Bullard was released from Medical University Hospital this afternoon. He said he will probably be out of work for a couple of weeks, but he is eager to return to duty just as soon as he is able.

“I’ll be back soon,” he said. “I don’t want to be just waiting around the house.”

Bullard said he is grateful for the support he has received from his fellow officers and the law enforcement community. Numerous people have called to wish him well and he received visits from North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt and Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen.

Bullard said he could not talk about the incident itself because it remains under investigation. He referred those questions to department officials.

Police released an incident report on the shooting late this afternoon, but have withheld other comment while State Law Enforcement Division agents investigate.

The shooting set off a massive hunt for the gunman, described only as a black man wearing black clothes. Authorities have not announced any arrests in the case or identified possible suspects.

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Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or on Twitter.