updated 9/7/2008 4:49:57 AM ET 2008-09-07T08:49:57

Three people including a police officer are dead after a reported domestic disturbance at a hair salon turned into a gun fight, police in this San Francisco Bay area community said Saturday.

Martinez police and Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies responded to the disturbance call at Elegant Hair Designs at 11:35 a.m., said Jimmy Lee, a sheriff's spokesman.

At the time the salon was full of customers, including a bridal party. No one inside the salon was shot.

After officers arrived, the gunman, who said he was looking for his ex-wife, fled to an apartment complex behind the salon, and shots were fired, Lee said.

Martinez police Sgt. Paul Starzyk was killed in the exchange, which occurred inside an apartment in the complex.

The gunman, who has not been identified, was then fatally shot by officers, said Martinez Police Chief Tom Simonetti.

Police said the third person killed was a woman, but her identity was not released. Lee expected the identities of the gunman and the female victim to be released Monday.

Meanwhile, the small police department was mourning its loss, as were residents startled by the violence.

"(Starzyk) was one of the best police officers this department has ever seen," said Simonetti, fighting back tears. "He was a friend and a true leader in our department."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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