(Reuters) - A suspect was shot dead and an Atlantic City, New Jersey, police officer critically wounded on Saturday when police exchanged gunfire with a group of six men allegedly engaged in criminal activity, the county prosecutor's office said.

Authorities asked for the public's help in identifying the remaining suspects, who fled the scene following the shooting, and posted a $20,000 reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.

According to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, the incident began when two officers left their patrol car to approach the six men shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.

"One officer was shot and injured as he exited the vehicle. The second officer returned fire and struck at least one of the suspects," the office said in a written statement.

The suspect who was hit by gunfire was found dead about a block and a half away, while the other five men ran off in different directions, according to the statement.

The wounded police officer underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Dan Grebler)