Independent journalist Luz Marina Paz and a companion were killed Tuesday in Tegucigalpa, Honduran police said.

Two men on a motorcycle shot at Paz and an unidentified man as they were driving in the capital.

Media outlets cited unofficial accounts that Paz, who owned a small business, had been threatened by an extortion gang for refusing to pay protection money.

She and her companion were traveling in a pickup truck belonging to military officer Marco Tulio Leiva, who told reporters at the murder scene that Paz was interested in buying the vehicle.

Paz, the 17th journalist slain in Honduras since the beginning of 2010, studied at the National Autonomous University of Honduras and spent several years working in radio.

Her death came a day after a security guard was wounded in an attack on the offices of La Tribuna, a newspaper owned by former President Carlos Flores.

The daily said two weeks ago that several of its reporters received death threats in response to stories about the October murder of two college students, one of them the son of the president of Luz Marina Paz's alma mater.

Eight police officers are implicated in that crime.