LaPLACE, Louisiana (CNN) -- Two sheriff's deputies died and two were wounded in a series of apparently linked shootings early Thursday in LaPlace, Louisiana, authorities said.
The first shooting -- where one deputy was wounded -- happened in a parking lot at a steel plant in LaPlace, about 25 miles west of New Orleans, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said. The second happened when deputies went to a nearby trailer park to investigate the first shooting and were ambushed by a man armed with what Tregre described as an assault rifle, he said.
He identified the dead as Deputies Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 28. Nielsen was married with five children and Triche had a wife and a 2-year-old son, Tregre told reporters at an afternoon news conference.
Authorities identified the second wounded deputy as Jason Triche, who is not related to Jeremy Triche, State Trooper Evan Harrell said.
"My officers that were killed this morning were simply doing their jobs," Tregre said.
Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said multiple weapons were involved and at least 20 shots were fired.
"The people that were involved with this morning's crimes are in custody right now or in the hospital," he said.
In addition to the two wounded deputies, two of the five people taken into custody were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, Louisiana State Trooper Melissa Matey said. Tregre said investigators were still sorting out what role those detained may have had in the shootings.
One of the wounded officers -- whom the sheriff identified as Deputy Scott Boyington -- was shot in the shoulder and is expected to survive, a law enforcement source in Louisiana told CNN. Boyington is awake and talking at University Hospital in New Orleans, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record.
One of the wounded suspects suffered life-threatening injuries, but was expected to survive after treatment at the same hospital, according to the source. The other was being treated at Ochsner Medical Center in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, Matey said.
Louisiana State Police have taken over the investigation, Tregre said.
The shootings unfolded around 5 a.m. in the parking lot at the Bayou Steel Plant in LaPlace, when a man opened fire on Boyington, according to the St. John Sheriff's Department. Tregre said Boyington was directing traffic at the time he was shot.
Despite being shot at multiple times, Boyington was able to describe the suspect to dispatchers, Tregre said. That description, along with a civilian report of a speeding car, led responding officers to a nearby trailer park, he said.
As deputies were questioning two people, a man came outside and "ambushed my two officers," Tregre said.
Jason Triche was also shot at the trailer park, a news release from the sheriff's office said.