A 41-year-old police officer shot and killed four family members before turning the gun on himself in Bloemfontein, Free State police said on Saturday.

Superintendent Motantsi Makhele said the officer went with a 41-year-old woman — who was apparently his girlfriend — to his ex wife’s mother-in-law’s house in Rocklands at about 10.45pm on Friday night.

A confrontation flared up and the officer shot his 14-year-old daughter.

He then shot the 19-year-old grandson of his ex-wife’s mother-in-law. The 72-year-old mother-in-law was asleep in her bedroom when the officer shot her.

She was wounded in the mouth and shoulder and was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

The policeman then shot and killed his girlfriend outside the front door.

He then apparently drove away with his ten month-old baby. Police later found the the body of the baby with a bullet wound inside the policeman’s car two blocks from his house.

The policeman was found in his bedroom with a bullet wound to his head and his service pistol next to him.

Free State provincial commissioner Amos Mashigo said it saddened him to hear of the incident, especially since there were support structures for police officers.