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2 brothers sought in slaying of officer

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PENROSE, Colo. — Authorities scoured an area of south-central Colorado on Saturday for twin brothers suspected in the killing of a sheriff's deputy and critical wounding of another officer.

Joel and Michael Stovall, 24, escaped from a sheriff's patrol car late Friday near their hometown of Penrose, said Fremont County sheriff's spokesman Dean Richardson. Authorities said the brothers had been suspects in the shooting of a dog.

Richardson said Deputy Jason Schwartz, 26, who was driving the men to jail, was shot several times in the head in his patrol car. Authorities didn't know if the Stovalls were handcuffed or whether the deputy was shot with his own gun.

Later, two people were briefly taken hostage in Florence, about 5 miles from Penrose, and their pickup truck was stolen, Florence Police Chief Mike Ingle said.

Shots were fired from the pickup at a passing police car, and Florence police Cpl. Toby Bethel was shot twice in the back, Ingle said.

Bethel was listed in critical condition at St. Anthony Central in Denver. A second officer was treated for minor injuries suffered when Bethel's car crashed.

The suspects were seen driving the pickup west out of Florence, and several more shots were fired at a Canon City police car, but no one was hurt, Ingle said. Canon City is about 95 miles southwest of Denver.

A sheriff's deputy was shot in the arm west of Canon City, but was released after treatment.

Early Saturday, the pickup was found abandoned near Howard, more than 30 miles west of Canon City, authorities said.