Two Border Patrol agents were shot to death and a deputy sheriff wounded Tuesday morning in a gun battle with suspects who were fleeing from another shooting.

The suspects took off again and were stopped later. Officers wounded one gunman and another fled and was barricading himself from authorities, officials said.The initial shooting occurred around 5:30 a.m. in Rio Hondo, a Harlingen suburb. Cameron County sheriff's officers chased the suspects' white pickup truck, but they lost sight of the vehicle and called for help, said San Benito patrolman Albert Aguirre.

Two Border Patrol agents were the first to reach the truck and pull it over, Aguirre said, adding that a Cameron County deputy arrived soon after.

An exchange of gunfire killed a female Border Patrol agent and a male colleague, said agency spokeswoman Letty Garza in McAllen. The deputy was wounded and taken to Valley Baptist hospital in Harlingen. Identities were not released.

A second pursuit ensued, ending about 10 miles southeast in San Benito.

"The only thing we have is they were chased out of town, there was another confrontation and the suspect was wounded," Aguirre said.

The wounded suspect was taken to Valley Regional Medical Center in Harlingen. The second suspect holed up in a residential area about 20 miles north of the Mexican border.

Agents from the Border Patrol, the Department of Public Safety, Cameron County and a SWAT team from Edinburg were at the scene.

The last time a Border Patrol agent was killed the line of duty in Texas was January 1996.