BREMERTON, Wash. – Two Bremerton police officers are in the hospital with gunshot wounds after a 53-year-old man fired numerous shots at them early Sunday morning, reported The Seattle Times.

Yet the officers returned fire and killed the man, according to Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan (pictured).

Police knew the shooter from previous incidents involving domestic violence. On Sunday the man opened fire on officers as they approached him while he was seated behind the wheel of an SUV. Reports indicate he was in violation of a domestic violence protective order.

In a recent encounter with the man, he had blackened an officer’s eye, the chief said. The suspect was armed with two handguns and came out shooting, a gun in each hand, he said. The chief called it a “firefight.”

“It was in relatively close quarters,” the chief told reporters, and the officers retreated to cover behind their vehicles. “There are bullet holes in the squad cars,” Strachan said.

One officer was grazed along the waist by a round. He was expected to be released from Harrison Hospital, the chief said. The second suffered two, maybe three” gunshot wounds in his abdomen, just below his protective vest. The chief said that officer was in surgery most of the night but was in satisfactory condition with his family Sunday morning.

Strachan said in a statement that preliminary information indicates the incident began when officers attempted to talk to the man at 1:16 a.m. He was seated behind the wheel of his vehicle in the parking lot at Lions Park near Lebo Boulevard and Hefner Avenue.

Bet when officers approached, “the man immediately began firing numerous shots directly at both officers,” Strachan said. The call to dispatch that shots had been fired was broadcast at 1:20 a.m., the chief said.

The Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team, which responds to major incidents, was at the shooting scene.

Strachan said the investigation into the shooting will be conducted by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol, along with officers from the Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard police departments.

The chief said he had a chance to speak to each injured officer at the hospital. While they were in separate rooms, each one wanted to know how the other was doing. He said that speaks to the character make-up of cops.

Finally, Strachan said the more seriously injured officer is a seasoned veteran. And although he doesn’t get a chance to see him that often due to conflicting schedules, he always talks about his grandchildren. So during the holiday season he is extremely thankful the officer will pull through and survive this dangerous encounter.