Commuters in Durban's busy Warwick Triangle escaped death when police exchanged gun shots with one of the province's most wanted criminals on Tuesday night.
Durban Central police were tipped off about a suspect wanted for several crimes said to be hiding out at Warwick Triangle.
The police arrived and the suspect was spotted. He shot at the police and killed one of them.
The police returned fire, seriously wounding the suspect, who was then taken to hospital.
Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge confirmed the incident.
The suspect is in hospital under police guard.
"Once he is discharged, he will appear in court," Mdunge said.
This is the second officer to die in the line of duty in Durban in less than 10 days.
About 14 police officers have been killed by criminals in KwaZulu-Natal in the past six months.