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PHOENIX -- A Phoenix-area policeman was shot and killed during a traffic stop, and two suspects were wounded in a high-speed chase that erupted in gunfire, authorities said.
Lt. Eric Shuhandler, a veteran of the Gilbert Police Department, was shot Thursday night near Mesa at about 11 p.m. Thursday and rushed to a hospital where he died, said Gilbert police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marino.
The suspects' vehicle was spotted nearby minutes later and a high-speed chase began along Highway 60, with several police cars pursuing the pickup east through Phoenix-area communities.
Several shots were fired and the two suspects were hit multiple times, Marino said.
"During the pursuit, the suspects shot at officers," Marino said. "One or two (police) cars were disabled but no officers were hit."
The chase ended near Superior, about 50 miles east of central Phoenix, as officers from four police departments converged on the suspects' truck.
The two male suspects were taken into custody and hospitalized. Both were shot in the lower extremities and were in stable, non-life-threatening condition Friday morning, according to Lt. Steve Harrison of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The men's names were not released.
Marino said authorities were trying to determine what prompted the original traffic stop and why someone in the suspects' vehicle allegedly opened fire.
The violence occurred about 12 minutes into the traffic stop.
Marino said his understanding was Shuhandler was hit by one bullet.
He was the second Arizona law officer to die in the line of duty in recent weeks.
Department of Public Safety officer Chris Marano was struck and killed last month by another officer's patrol car while he was laying down spike strips to stop a vehicle during a high-speed freeway chase in Phoenix.
Harrison said Shuhandler had been with the Gilbert Police Department 16 years.
Material also from: KNXV-TV,http://www.abc15.com