EL MONTE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say two police officers were shot and killed while investigating a possible stabbing in a Los Angeles suburb.

It happened about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday at a motel in the city of El Monte. Authorities say officers confronted a man in a motel room where shots rang out and the gunman then fled to the parking lot where more gunfire was exchanged.

The gunman was shot and died.

The officers who died were described as a veteran with more than two decades of experience and a rookie with less than a year on the job.

El Monte’s interim police chief called them heroes who died serving their community.