▶ Watch Video: Two police officers shot and killed in Southern California: CBS News Flash June 15, 2022

Two police officers — one a 22-year veteran and the other a rookie — were shot and killed in the Los Angeles County city of El Monte late Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The suspect is also dead. The mayor said the officers were “essentially ambushed.”

The shooting occurred at about 4:45 p.m. local time when El Monte officers responded to a report of a stabbing at a motel. When they arrived, they “immediately took gunfire,” police said.

The two officers were rushed to a hospital where they later died, police said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the suspect was shot and died at the scene. He wasn’t publicly identified, CBS Los Angeles reports.

City officials said the two officers were responding to a domestic violence report between a boyfriend and girlfriend.

According to police, the shootout started in the motel room. The suspect then fled into the motel parking lot, where another shootout occurred.

“As our officers do on a daily basis, they were acting as the first line of defense for our community members when they were essentially ambushed while trying to keep a family safe,” said El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona.

El Monte police said one officer had 22 years of experience and the other was with the department less than a year. The mayor said the veteran officer grew up and attended the school in the city.

“They paid the ultimate sacrifice serving their community trying to help somebody,” Lowry remarked. “They do what hundreds of thousands of men and women do every day across the United States. They took an oath to protect people and to serve them. These two heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice. They were murdered by a coward.”

“We are grieving and it hurts,” Lowry said.

Interim El Monte Police Chief Ben Lowry observed, “I’ve heard that the only way to take the sting out of death is to take the love out of life. Believe me, they were loved. These two men were loved. They were good men.”

A witness, Arthur Kintsbury, told CBS L.A. he heard five gunshots before additional officers arrived. He said two more officers got there later and also came under fire. They scrambled for cover.

“I saw the suspect was on the ground,” Kintsbury said. “I already knew, considering he was laying there motionless, he was deceased.”

The city of El Monte and El Monte police said in a joint statement that, “There are no words to describe our grief and devastation by this senseless act as we learned about the passing of two of our police officers. It weighs heavy on our hearts and we are sending our support to their families.”

This latest shooting comes a day after a California Highway Patrol officer was shot in Studio City. He is in critical but stable condition.

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