NEW ORLEANS, La. – In a devastating story, a New Orleans officer was shot and killed after a gunman fired on a group of police.

The incident occurred near the intersection of Tara Lane and Lake Forest Boulevard just after midnight.

The city’s Mayor Mitch Landrieu confirmed the death on Twitter early Friday morning, saying that the unidentified officer was killed overnight.

“These are the worst kind of days for the city,” he told reporters during a press conference. “We want to keep the family in our thoughts and prayers. There were a lot of officers who knew this officer very well. The entire department is in trauma.”

A group of four officers were on patrol just after midnight when they apparently “saw something that aroused their suspicion.” As a result they exited their car to investigate. Subsequently, the gunman opened fire, striking one officer multiple times, The Times-Picayune reported.

“One possibly two officers returned fire,” New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison told reporters, “and our officer collapsed right there on the scene.”

The officer, whose name has not been released upon his family’s request, later died from his gunshot wounds.

The gunman ran into an apartment building, where he hid until he finally surrendered to a SWAT team, WWL reported.

The accused shooter was also shot when officers returned fire, Harrison told reporters at an early morning news conference.

“They were on routine patrol,” he said. “They saw something that aroused their suspicion. They were exiting the vehicle and upon exiting the vehicle what we have learned is that this perpetrator fired at our officer, striking our officer.”

Harrison said there was only one suspect and that it was unclear whether he had a prior record.

The unnamed 30-year-old suspect, who is under arrest, was taken to University Hospital, where he is still being treated for gunshot wounds.

Officers are still investigating the motive behind the early-morning shooting.

“This hurts,” Harrison added, “I can’t begin to tell you how much this hurts.”

However, Fox News has referred to the incident as an “ambush” based upon comments from police sources.

“We have lost one of our brothers. NOPD grieves this morning,” the New Orleans Police Department said in a pre-dawn tweet.

“There are a lot of officers that knew this officer really, really well and the entire department when this happens is in trauma and of course it strikes at the heart of the city,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters.

(Photo: Screenshot WWLTV YouTube video)