RCMP from five detachments have surrounded a rural residence near Killam, Alta., where two officers were shot Tuesday afternoon.

"We are currently at the scene. We have numerous police resources there including the emergency response team," said Chief Supt. Rick Taylor. "They are mustering their resources … and trying to make contact with anyone inside that residence.

"My understanding is that of five minutes ago is we have not been successful in making contact."

The officers were wounded in an exchange of gunfire at the house, about 10 kilometres southeast of Killam, around 2 p.m. local time Tuesday. RCMP were attempting to execute a search warrant for a .45-calibre handgun, Taylor said.

RCMP believe at least one male is in the residence. It was unclear if a second man is at large.

Darcy Eskra, deputy mayor of Killam, said he was told one of the suspects in the shooting was dead, but Taylor would not confirm that.

The officers were first taken to the hospital in Killam and then transported by STARS Air Ambulance to hospitals in Edmonton. They are undergoing surgery and their condition is not known.

The officers sustained gunshot wounds to their torsos, but were able to pass on information about the incident while being taken to hospital, Taylor said.

One officer has five years of service with the RCMP, while the other has two. Their names will not be released until their families are notified.

Killam Mayor Bud James said the community — which has just over 1,000 people — is shaken by the incident.

"We're in a community where we're friends and neighbours with the RCMP members that live and work here so we're really concerned about their welfare and that of their families," he said.

"Have a good thought and a prayer for those two officers and their families tonight."

Premier Alison Redford also expressed her concern earlier at a news conference at the Alberta Legislature.

"Sometimes ... these shootings can lead to pretty serious injuries, so our hopes and prayers are with their families."

STARS said earlier that a helicopter returned to Killam to pick up another patient injured in the incident.

Investigators from the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) are in Killam. ASIRT is a civilian agency that investigates incidents involving police that cause serious injury or death.

With files from The Canadian Press