A 28-year-old man from Steadville township in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, took his own life at the weekend to escape arrest.
Police reports indicate Mthokozisi Langa shot himself when he learnt that police were searching for him because he was in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
One resident claimed that before his death, Langa terrorised the community with the weapon.
"It's not nice seeing a person dead, but it's a relief to the community because he continued to threaten us with his gun."
Police spokesman Captain Charmaine Struwig said police had received reports that Langa was allegedly in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
"Police launched a search for the suspect in the Emagogogweni area, but could not find him. He was traced to his girlfriend's house, which was in total darkness.
"Langa's girlfriend denied knowledge of his whereabouts. Police were not convinced and searched the house," said Struwig.
She said while police were busy searching one of the rooms, they heard a gunshot in the back room.
"They found Langa's body lying on the floor with a bullet wound to his right temple. The pistol was also found near him and wasn't licensed to him. It appears the firearm was stolen," said Struwig.
She said police would soon open an inquest docket.