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Two officers, suspect shot and killed in Santa Cruz, California

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SANTA CRUZ, California (Reuters) - Two police officers were shot dead in northern California in a mostly residential area of the city of Santa Cruz on Tuesday in a shootout with a gunman who was later killed by police, authorities said.

Police did not immediately release details on what led to the shooting involving the officers in the city 60 miles south of San Francisco, other than to say the officers were conducting an investigation before they came under fire.

"Two Santa Cruz police officers were shot and are deceased," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak told reporters. "One suspect was involved in the shooting. That suspect was shot and is deceased at this time."

A statement from the Sheriff's Office said the suspect was found by police "shortly after the initial shooting." Authorities did not immediately release the names of the officers or the suspect.

The deaths of two officers follow a pair of shootings in Santa Cruz this month that put residents on edge.

On February 9 a resident died in a drive-by shooting outside a bar, and two days later a University of California, Santa Cruz, student was wounded by a shot to the head during a mugging, police said.

(Reporting by Ryan Boysen, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Todd Eastham)

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