ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) _ A gunman ambushed a police SWAT team as they approached a house with a search warrant Thursday, killing two officers and wounding three others. In the ensuing two-hour gun battle, the man also died.
The injured officers were in stable condition, authorities said. No names were released.
Police said the gunman was wanted by probation and parole officers. They said the SWAT team was searching for a man wanted for ambushing another officer in the same neighborhood on Wednesday.
That officer was ambushed while responding to an apparently false report of a robbery. The gunman sprayed the officer's patrol car with bullets, firing about 20 shots.
The officer was not hit.
Capt. Thomas Cardwell estimated 500 shots were exchanged during Thursday's gun battle, which took place south of downtown in an area where drug dealing is common.
``He was lying in wait and he opened up,'' Cardwell said.
During the shootout, students at a nearby school were locked inside their building. Janice Kane, who lives abou two blocks away, said, ``It sounded like a war zone. You try clean up a neighborhood and then this.''
Her husband, Joe, added: ``Only in Vietnam. That's the only time I heard that many shots.''
Cardwell said it was the first fatal shooting of a police officer in the city in 40 years.