The Sacramento Police Department has released shocking footage of the moment a suspect opened fire on officers, hitting two before he himself was shot dead. The incident took place at 10.39am on 7 September after officers tracked a vehicle wanted in connection to a double homicide, authorities said.

According to the Sacramento PD, officers in a marked car trailed the suspect, 41-year-old Eric Arnold, while waiting for back-up to arrive. They then pulled the car over and gave the suspect commands to turn off the vehicle, throw the keys from the window and show his hands.

In the video, the man can be seen throwing the keys to the road, but after being asked to show his hands he suddenly exits the vehicle and begins firing on officers with a handgun. Police says that preliminary investigations showed Arnold fired six rounds, hitting two officers.

Officers responded with 36 rounds, Sacramento PD said, with 14 hitting the suspect. The five officers who returned fire on the suspect were named as Timothy Martin, Victor Wolfe, Joshua Dobson, Richard Hitchcock and Robert Williams.

Both Officers Martin and Wolfe were hit and transported to hospital. The pair have subsequently been released and are now recovering from injuries.

"The Department recognises the importance of releasing the videos which captured the event in a timely manner and has made every effort to redact them to adhere to the City Council's policy on Police Use of Force," Sacramento PD said.

On 28 September, the department released 15 videos and an audio dispatch file that are all available to the public on YouTube. Authorities said that a second release of a further 13 videos would take place within a week.

Police had been searching for Arnold after a house fire that killed two on 1 September was deemed "suspicious".

Screenshot of police shoot out
Screenshot of footage released by police of the moment a suspect fired on police in Sacramento Sacramento Police Department / YouTube