Seven US law enforcement officers have been shot, one of them fatally, in a confrontation with a gunman holding children hostage in a house.
A suspect was arrested following a two-hour standoff in Florence, South Carolina, in which officers used bullet-proof vehicles to rescue their wounded colleagues.
Florence police chief Allen Heidler confirmed the death of officer Terrence Carraway, 52, in an emotional press conference on Wednesday night.
"I want you to pray for the family who lost the bravest police officer I have ever known,” he said.
Three other police officers and three Florence County Sheriff’s Department deputies were injured.
The sheriff’s officers had been serving a search warrant on the house in Vintage Place, an upmarket neighbourhood in the western part of the city. They called for back-up from police after coming under fire inside the house.
The four police officers were then shot while responding to the gunfire.
Mr Carraway, of the nearby town of Darlington, was pronounced dead at a Florence hospital.
He had just celebrated 30 years as a police officer in the city.
US president Donald Trump tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department tonight, in South Carolina.
“We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365.”
Authorities have not disclosed the name or condition of the suspect arrested, or why officers were serving a warrant.
The children taken hostage were unharmed, police said.
News of the shooting shocked a quiet neighbourhood in a city of 37,000 people that is still recovering from flooding after Hurricane Florence last month.
"Surprised is probably an understatement," said Bobby Goin, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years. "The worst thing that goes on around here is that someone runs a stop sign and it gets posted on Facebook."
Both Mr Heidler and Florence County sheriff Kenney Boone had tears in their eyes as they spoke to reporters about two hours after the stand-off ended.
"This is simply devastating news from Florence," South Carolina governor Henry McMaster tweeted. "The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real."