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Suspect in custody over fatal shooting of police officers in ambush attack in the US

The shootings took place early this morning.

Updated 2.53pm

Officers Killed Iowa Source: Charlie Neibergall

A SUSPECT IS in custody after two police officers in the US were shot dead early this morning in ambush-style attacks.

The men were shot while in their patrol cars.

Police had earlier said they were searching for a 46-year-old white male in the shooting death of the police officers.

“It doesn’t look like there was any interaction between these officers, and whoever the coward is… shot them as they sat in their cars,” Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said in an early morning news conference.

It looks just like that, that these officers were ambushed.

Authorities said a member of the Urbandale police force was found dead just after 1am (6am GMT).

Twenty minutes later, a second Des Moines police officer was discovered gunned down at an intersection around two miles away. US media said the officer died after being taken to the hospital.

Officers Killed-Iowa Sergeant Paul Parizek speaking during the press conference this morning Source: AP

Parizek told reporters police would be doubling up to patrol in pairs in the wake of the shootings.

“There is a clear and present danger to police officers right now and we’ve doubled up our police officers” so that no one is working alone, he said.

A series of tips and leads drew investigators to a suspect, the officers said, although they declined to comment on a motive for the killings.

I think you know that oftentimes in these investigations we don’t figure out what the motive is until we get done and then there’s times we can’t make sense of what their motive is, or they don’t even share that with us.

The incident marks the first time a Des Moines officer has been shot in the line of duty since two police were gunned down in 1977, The Des Moines Register said.

The United States was on edge for weeks in July following the shooting in Dallas of five officers and a similar assault in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where three officers were shot dead by a former military veteran.

Those killings were carried out in apparent retribution for a string of high-profile police shootings of black citizens which inflamed racial tensions in the United States.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Man arrested after two police officers shot dead in domestic disturbance call>

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