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3 California officers, 1 suspect shot, authorities say

Last Updated Aug 30, 2017 8:12 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A gunman with an assault rifle shot and killed a California sheriff's deputy and wounded two other officers Wednesday at a Sacramento hotel that was later surrounded by officers searching for suspects. 

Three people, including the man suspected of killing the deputy, were in custody following a chase in a stolen car that led to the hotel. Police believe other suspects may still be holed up in a room where the shots were fired. Guests at the hotel were told to shelter in place.

"It was an extremely dynamic, horrific series of events that occurred and maybe will continue to occur," Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said. 

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said a deputy has died as a result of the shooting, CBS Sacramento reports.  

Robert French, a 21-year veteran, died on his way to the hospital after being shot in the chest. French was a training officer.

He is survived by his live-in girlfriend, adult children and his grandchildren.

"All agencies lost a brother officer," Jones said.

The scene in Sacramento remains active and there may be more suspects.

The officers were in the area late Wednesday morning investigating stolen vehicles, according to CBS Sacramento. Two suspects were seen getting into a car and were then chased by authorities. The chase ended in Elk Grove and two women were taken into custody.

Investigators then found the room the suspects had fled from at the Ramada Inn. While attempting to do a search, a suspect from inside the room opened fire through the door -- wounding two CHP investigators.

Deputies responded to the back side of the hotel and were engaged by the suspect, who was reportedly armed with a high-powered rifle. Gunfire was exchanged and a Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy was hurt. The suspect was able to get into a car and led authorities on a chase down Fulton and El Camino Avenues before crashing near Watt.

The suspect exchanged gunfire with authorities. He was hit by gunfire and taken into custody.

Jeff Marshall, who lives near the hotel, said he heard gunshots and then tires squealing and saw a gray Dodge Charger speed by his home, going the wrong way down a busy street.

Marshall estimated he heard 12 shots.

"It was like the wild West," Marshall said.

The sheriff described French, 52, as a "well-known, well-respected training officer" assigned to patrol the county's northern areas.

He was a "go-to guy for advice and counsel, not just career advice but tactical advice and things like that," Jones said.

French is survived by his live-in girlfriend, adult children and grandchildren, and a sister.

"Words aren't going to make an appropriate appreciation of him as a man or his career," Jones said.