2 W. Memphis officers slain; 2 suspects said dead

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) - Two West Memphis police officers were shot and killed Thursday during a traffic stop along a busy cross-country interstate highway. The local sheriff and his chief deputy were wounded in a later shootout that left a pair of suspects dead.

The officers killed were Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans. Paudert is the son of West Memphis police chief Bob Paudert. The younger Paudert was assigned to the police department's drug unit but it wasn't immediately known why the officers pulled over a white van with Ohio plates.

At a news conference outside a Memphis, Tenn., hospital, Memphis Safety Director Larry Godwin said Crittenden County Sheriff Richard Busby and his chief deputy were wounded during a shootout with the suspects. A spokesman at the Regional Medical Center said Busby's condition was undetermined while Deputy W.A. Wren was in critical condition.

Busby and Wren shot at the suspects in a Wal-Mart parking lot near the intersection of Interstates 40 and 55 in West Memphis. Both highways are major cross-country interstates.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.