"Our department is in mourning. This is a horrific day. We lost two exceptionally fine officers today," Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said.
The city had never lost an officer in the line of duty, the Santa Cruz Sentinel said.
Santa Cruz Sheriff Phil Wowak said authorities did not believe there were any other suspects still at large but officers were going door to door in the city to make sure everyone was safe, the Sentinel said.
Wowak said his department would take over the city department's patrol duties temporarily in wake of the shootings.
"My heart goes out to those who were involved," Wowak said.
The shootings began about 3:30 p.m. when the Santa Cruz officers were investigating an incident at a house. A suspect opened fire on the two officers, killing them, then about a half hour later while other officers were pursuing at least one suspect, there was a barrage of gunfire that apparently left the suspect dead.
The names of the officers and suspect who died had not been released.