Two Albuquerque police officers were shot and killed after being sent to pick up a man on a mental health evaluation.

Police Chief Ray Schultz (search), in an early morning news conference Friday, announced their deaths in "one of the saddest days in the history of the Albuquerque Police Department (search)."

When the officers arrived for the pickup order, shots were fired and both suffered fatal wounds, he said.

The names of the officers, whom Schultz called "these two heroes," have not been released.

Both were veterans with more than 20 years' experience, the chief said.

Talking to their families was "the toughest thing I've ever had to do," Schultz said, his voice breaking.

Police arrested a man about an hour and a half after the shootings, but his name also was not released.

Authorities said he will be booked after he is released from an Albuquerque hospital.

The incident began after 10 p.m. Thursday when the officers were dispatched to an address near downtown Albuquerque on the pickup order.

Investigators expect to release more information at an afternoon news conference, Schultz said.

"We're grieving," he said. "We're all grieving."