A Mpumalanga police constable pumped eight bullets into his ex- lover and her boyfriend on Sunday.
Then, yesterday morning, almost 12 hours later, a colleague shot him dead in a hospital ward.
"He tried to wrestle a gun from one of the policemen guarding him, but another policeman shot him in the head," said Superintendent Abie Khoabane.
The constable had earlier killed lovebirds Sindi Mnisi, 24, a bank teller, and Doctor Magagula, 28, a taxi owner.
Police said the drama started at about 2pm on Sunday when Constable Jabulani Sibande, 31, spotted his ex-lover, Mnisi, and new boyfriend Magagula at a stop sign.
They were travelling in Magagula's BMW. Sibande was driving a police car.
"Sibande stopped next to their car. He must have gone into a rage when he recognised who they were. He stepped out of the car, approached the two and shot them. He then drove away.
"The two died on the scene," Khoabane said.
Before Sibande was arrested, he apparently shot and injured himself in the arm.
"That is why he was taken to hospital," said Khoabane.
Relatives said Mnisi had dumped Sibande a month ago after they had been lovers for about nine years.
"He had been threatening her with death ever since," her uncle Bheki Magubane said.
He said the family had suspected that something bad would happen to their daughter, but were relieved when they learnt that she had met someone else.
"We thought he would eventually leave her alone. Everyone knew that it was difficult for him to accept that their relationship was over because they had been together since she was a little girl," he said.
"The family is still shocked by the news, my niece was a very loving person," Magubane said.
The incident happened at Emzinoni Section near Bethal.
After the shooting, the jilted constable was arrested at his house where police were told that he had shot himself in the right arm.
Police said Sibande was later admitted to Bethal Hospital where he was placed under police guard.
"He was handcuffed and wore leg irons in his hospital bed. At about 2am yesterday he asked the cops, who were on guard, to take off the handcuffs and chain him to the bed because he wanted to sleep," said Khoabane.
"While the cops were busy chaining him to the bed, he grabbed a pistol from one of the policemen, and the two wrestled for the gun," he said.
"The other policeman shot the constable in the head and he died in the hospital."
Mnisi will be buried on Saturday at Vlakfontein cemetery, in Tsakane, Brakpan.
Magagula's brother, Simon, could hardly talk when Sowetan visited him yesterday.
"I just don't believe that he died like this," he said.
"They were a cute couple and they looked happy. The family is shocked by the incident. He will be buried on Saturday at Emzinoni cemetery."
Constable Sibande was attached to the Kriel police station and had been a police officer for four years.
A case of double murder and an inquest docket have been opened.