LAPD police officials protests
People protest against the killing of a homeless man by police outside LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles, California on Mar. 3, 2015. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Two police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were injured by gunshots on Sunday while they were driving through a South L.A. neighborhood. The officers returned fire after being shot at, causing several people to flee the location, according to reports.

The officers, who were reportedly in plainclothes, received minor injuries and were treated on the spot but it was unclear whether the suspects were hit by return fire from the officers' firearms. Officials detained several people present at the scene for questioning while a search for two suspects continued, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing LAPD spokeswoman Meghan Aguilar. The LAPD’s SWAT unit was also part of the search.

"Of course, because it's an active scene, that's our preliminary investigation," Aguilar said, according to the LATimes, adding: "There's going to be several thorough interviews of the officers. But right now they believe they were the target."

It was not clear whether the officers were in a marked car at the time of the shooting but Aguilar believes that they were targets, the report said, adding that a part of the neighborhood where the shooting took place was cordoned off while police officers, who were also assisted by a K-9 unit, began a block-to-block search of the area.

"We are asking the public to shelter in place and notify police if they see any unusual activity in their houses or yards," Aguilar said, according to ABC News, which added that the shooting was reported at about 5:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m. EDT) on Sunday.

“I heard like 20 shots, and then a bunch of police sirens,” Junior Moore, 54, who was eating in a restaurant at the corner of Broadway and Gage Avenue when the shooting happened, said, according to the LATimes.