The officers were apparently shot at a home near Diamond Head in the Waikiki neighbourhood of Honolulu, according to Hawaii News Now.
At some point the house was set on fire and a plume of smoke could be seen from miles away. There were reports that at least four neighbouring houses had also caught fire.
The Star Advertiser said 50 firefighters were at the scene trying to put out the blaze. It said live ammunition in the suspect’s house was exploding and that the flames had caused overhead electric wires to collapse.
The FBI was called in to search for the attacker.
Reports suggested that a female police officer had died at the Queens Medical Centre after being taken there in a critical condition.
One witness told Hawaii News Now that they had seen police officers performing CPR on one of the victims at the scene.
Dozens of officers, including the Honolulu police chief Susan Ballard, were said to have arrived at the hospital.
David Ige, Hawaii’s governor, said in a statement: “Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning. As we express our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy.”
Kym Pine, a city council member, said in a Facebook post: “My prayers and thoughts are with the families of the Honolulu Police Department officers who were killed and all who were injured during the Diamond Head incident today — my heart aches for all who are involved.”
Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu’s mayor, tweeted: “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two officers as well as the entire Honolulu Police Department. This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai’i.
“Our office is in communication with the Honolulu Police Department as more details about the circumstances around this horrific event come to light. Our hearts go out to the first responders who are on the scene as this event unfolds.”