The loud hail of bullets and sight of two policemen holding their position outside a low-rise apartment block suggested the deadly shootout had just reached its bloody end.
One officer shouts "suspect down!" and soon four of his colleagues, one leading a German shepherd, rush up to outflank the gunman with their rifles raised and ready.
The suspect, 35-year-old Jeremy Goulet, died in the gunfire — but he also fatally shot the two detectives who first confronted him, Loran 'Butch' Baker and Elizabeth Butler.
The dramatic shootout unfolded yesterday afternoon outside a residential area in the Californian city of Santa Cruz.
Details are unclear, but shortly after the detectives made contact with the suspect at a house, reportedly about a domestic violence or sexual assault incident, an altercation ensued in which the two detectives were killed.
A police squad was soon on the scene and a call went out warning residents to stay inside.
The footage above was filmed by a local resident and shows police firing into a building entrance before shouting "suspect down!"
It is understood Goulet was fatally shot as he tried to flee.
Panic also followed as police went door to door searching homes in case another suspect remained at large.
Detective Baker had been a police officer for 28 years and leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son.
Detective Butler leaves her partner and two young sons.
Santa Cruz police chief Kevin Vogel described the incident as "the darkest day in the history of the Santa Cruz Police Department."
"We at the Santa Cruz Police Department are like family," he said.
"I've known both of these officers for a long, long time and there just aren't words to describe how I feel personally about this and how our department is reacting to this horrific, horrific tragedy."
Source: NBC News
Author: Erin Tennant, Approving editor: Mark Worley