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Two paramedics were also hit by gunfire when they arrived at the scene, said Trooper Mark Dennis, a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police. One was in stable condition and the other was not seriously hurt, Trooper Dennis said.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the shooting, or whether the suspect was killed in the initial shootout or by officers who arrived later, Trooper Dennis said.

The slain officers were identified by state police as Bastrop police detectives: John Smith, 40, who had been with the agency for 18 years, and Charles “Chuck” Wilson, 34, who had 11 years with the department.

NASA plans inspection of shuttle’s heat shield

HOUSTON — A pair of rookie spacewalkers floated outside the International Space Station yesterday to bolt an extension onto the orbital outpost’s frame while NASA made plans to inspect potentially troublesome damage to Space Shuttle Endeavour’s heat shield.

Shuttle crew members Rick Mastracchio and Dave Williams left the station’s U.S. airlock yesterday afternoon. Their main job was to bolt a two-ton, 11-foot-long aluminum extension onto a solar array support beam installed during NASA’s last space station construction mission in June.

NASA engineers on the ground, meanwhile, tweaked plans for an additional inspection today of the shuttle’s heat shield. Photographs taken by the station crew before the shuttle docked Friday revealed a small but possibly deep gash in the center of one of the ship’s belly tiles.

Hurricane Flossie likely to pass over Hawaii

HONOLULU — Hurricane Flossie strengthened to a Category 4 storm yesterday as it spun more than 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.

By yesterday afternoon, Flossie had intensified with maximum sustained winds near 132 mph, and was about 1,100 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. Flossie was upgraded overnight from a Category 1 to Category 3.

The storm was expected to weaken as it passed over cooler waters. It was traveling west at about 12 mph.

Jeff Powell, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said Flossie hadn’t changed its course and was expected to pass the Hawaiian Islands early Wednesday with rough surf. A “ramp up” of surf on the Big Island was expected late tomorrow.

From staff reports and wire dispatches