Five Honduran police were killed Monday when one of their colleagues opened fire inside a precinct house in the Caribbean port city of La Ceiba, authorities said.

"(N)on-commissioned officer Elias Mejia entered into the Arrests section and began to shoot at five colleagues," national police director Juan Carlos Bonilla told the media.

The shooter is in custody, he said.

An investigation is under way to determine "what it was that caused this deed," Bonilla said, adding that the incident would not stop efforts to purge corrupt, abusive or otherwise unsuitable personnel from the force.

The national police embarked on the housecleaning operation a year ago, prompted by multiple accusations that cops were involved in murders, drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping and car theft.

Demands for scrutiny of the force became irresistible after police were linked to the murder of the son of a university chancellor.

Nearly a hundred command-level police officers were removed from their posts last month. EFE