A police sergeant in Birmingham, Alabama, was shot and killed and another officer critically wounded in a shooting early Sunday outside a nightclub.
One suspect is in custody and a second, who was struck by gunfire during the shooting, is being treated at the hospital, police said.
The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. ET near downtown Birmingham. An undercover officer was investigating a rash of car break-ins in that area when the officer spotted at least two suspects who appeared to be burglarizing a vehicle, police said.
The officer called for backup, and the sergeant arrived, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith told reporters at a news conference Sunday morning.
The officers approachedthe suspects when one suspect took out a gun and began to fire at them, Smith said.
"What I can tell you is it appears our officers were unable to respond,'' he said. "They were taken completely by surprise."
Both officers and one suspect were taken to the hospital for treatment. A second suspect was arrested. It is unclear if there is another suspect, the police chief said.
The second officer, whose identity has not been released, is in critical condition, according to police.
The slain officer has been identified as Sgt. Wytasha Carter, 44, of Birmingham, Alabama. Carter has been a member of the Birmingham Police Department since 2011. He was promoted to sergeant in February 2018.
Carter, who is survived by his wife and children, is the first Birmingham officer killed in the line of duty in more than 14 years.