Two police officers have been shot dead and another wounded in Palm Springs, California. They had been attempting to resolve a family dispute when a man they had been speaking calmly to suddenly opened fire, according to police chief Bryan Reyes.
He said the armed man was still at large and could still be at the house where the shooting happened.
Specialist firearms teams had surrounded the property and Mr Reyes urged people not to stream live video of officers’ movements on social media, warning it could put them in danger.
A cordon was in place and some residents had been evacuated.
Mr Reyes said: “Understand that we’re actively looking for a cop murderer.”
The dead officers have been named as Jose “Gil” Vega and 27-year-old Lesley Zerebny.
Officer Zerebny only recently returned to the force from maternity leave after giving birth to a now four-month-old daughter.
Officer Vega was a father of eight, who was a 35-year veteran of the Palm Springs force and was due to retire in December.
While the armed suspect has not been named, police indicated he was known to them.
A neighbour, Frances Serrano, said she had alerted the authorities after the father of the suspect came to her home and told her his son was “acting crazy”.
She said the father had warned his son had threatened to shoot police if they arrived.
The deaths comes just days after a Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant was shot and killed in the desert town of Lancaster.