2 Santa Cruz, Calif., police officers shot dead

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 10:36 PM

SANTA CRUZ, California (AP) — Two Santa Cruz police officers were shot and killed Tuesday while investigating a sexual assault, and a suspect was also fatally shot, authorities said.

The officers were shot around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak confirmed Tuesday evening that they had died.

The shooting in the community about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of San Francisco took place as police were investigating a report of a sexual assault, Wowak said. A suspect fired, hitting the two officers.

A suspect was shot while police were in pursuit of the shooter, the sheriff said. Authorities said that person also died.

An Associated Press reporter in the area of one of the shootings heard more than a dozen gunshots.

Monterey County deputies, officers from nearby Capitola and Watsonville have been searching the surrounding area. At least three helicopters and one plane were circling the city, while heavily armed police went door-to-door.

Police had at least five blocks of the mostly residential area blocked, and two schools were locked down after the shooting. Students at the schools were taken by bus to a government county center, officials said.

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Associated Press writer John S. Marshall in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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