Two sheriff's deputies in Louisiana have been shot to death and two others injured after an early-morning shootout in St. John the Baptist Parish, west of New Orleans.
Authorities identified the deceased officers as Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 28. The Times-Picayune reported that the injured officers are Michael Scott Boyington, 33, and Jason Triche, 30.
The first shooting occurred around 5:30 a.m. in a parking lot used by workers in an area of manufacturing plants and refineries along the Mississippi River.
"This is a very difficult day. I lost two good men."
- Sheriff Michael Kerry Tregre
Louisiana authorities say the two sheriff's deputies were killed in an "ambush" after they responded to reports of a traffic officer being shot multiple times early Thursday morning near an isolated parking lot for a Valero refinery.
Residents at the Riverview trailer park notified police about a speeding car, which matched the description of the car used in the earlier shooting, Michael Kerry Tregre, the St. John the Baptist sheriff, said.
The two officers were interviewing an individual underneath some blankets. During the interview, another person exited the trailer with an assault weapon and "ambushed" them, Tregre said.
"Another person exited that trailer with an assault weapon and ambushed my two officers," Tregre said. Two deputies were killed and a third was wounded. Two suspects were wounded in the shootout before officers subdued them, Tregre said.
"This is a very difficult day," he said. "I lost two good men."
Louisiana State Police have taken over the investigation. The investigation is considered “hot” and ongoing.
There are five people in custody, authorities said. Two of them were hurt in the shooting and are hospitalized. It was unclear how officers managed to take the suspect with the assault weapon into custody. Authorities do not believe there are any additional suspects.
"Air support and local law enforcement combined with us," Trooper Evan Hallel, told FOX-8. "We got feet on the ground and people in the woods. We're trying to gather all the information that we could at this time."
Two officers in the earlier shooting suffered gunshot wounds and are hospitalized. One is currently undergoing surgery.
The Times-Picayune reported that deputies were outside the emergency room at River Parishes Hospital, which is holding Officer Jason Triche. He reportedly suffered multiple injuries to his kidney, spleen and bladder.
Governor Bobby Jindal released a statement calling the shooting a "terrible act of violence."
"The Louisiana State Police will be working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to fully investigate this incident and make sure the suspects are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," the statement read.
Jindal ordered the state flags to be flown at half-staff over the state Capitol and all public buildings and institutions until sunset Friday. The move, described as "an expression of respect for the four sheriff's deputies," was effective immediately, the governor's order said.
The superintendent for St. John the Baptist Parish was told not to open a nearby school, but authorities say there is no public threat.
Valero Energy Corporation said in a statement that its "thoughts and prayers" are with the officers and their families. Refinery operations have not been affected, the statement said.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this report