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Two deputies killed, two wounded in Louisiana shooting

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Posted at 1:55 PM, Aug 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-16 13:55:27-04
(CNN) — Two law enforcement officers died and two were wounded in a series of apparently linked shootings early Thursday in LaPlace, Louisiana, authorities said.

The first shooting happened in a parking lot at a steel plant, Sheriff Mike Tregre said. The second happened when officers went to a nearby trailer park to investigate the first shooting and were ambushed by a man armed with what the sheriff described as an assault rifle, he said.

In addition to the two wounded law enforcement officers, several people taken into custody also suffered gunshot wounds, Tregre said. Investigators were still sorting out what role those detained may have had in the shootings, he said.

One of the wounded officers — whom the sheriff identified as Deputy Scott Boyington — was shot in the shoulder and is expected to survive, a law enforcement source in Louisiana told CNN. Boyington is awake and talking at University Hospital in New Orleans, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

One of the wounded suspects suffered life-threatening wounds but was expected to survive after treatment at the same hospital, according to the source.

Louisiana State Police have taken over the investigation, Tregre said. Although investigators are still working what he described as a “semi-hot scene,” they do not believe anyone else involved in the shooting is at large, he said.

Tregre identified the dead as Deputies Brandon Neilsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 28.

The shootings unfolded around 5 a.m. in the parking lot at the Bayout Steel Plant in LaPlace, about 25 miles west of New Orleans, when a man opened fire on a law enforcement officer working a traffic detail in the lot.

Despite being shot multiple times, the officer was able to describe the suspect to dispatchers, Tregre said. That description, along with a civilian report of a speeding car, led responding officers to a nearby trailer park, he said.

As the deputies were questioning two people, a man came outside and “ambushed my two officers,” Tregre said.

Authorities were investigating whether the same weapon was used at both shooting sites, Tregre said.