He was found in possession of two firearms, Brigadier Neville Malila said.
The four would appear in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, hijacking, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
The police officers were approached by four people in Rabie Ridge, Johannesburg, on Tuesday while eating lunch at a food outlet around 3pm, Malila said.
They pointed a firearm at the officers, took their guns, locked them in the back of their patrol vehicle, and fled. The assailants, who were joined by three others, then hijacked a car and fled.
People in the area helped free the officers and police gave chase.
“The suspects lost control of their vehicle and fired several shots at the police who returned fire,” Malila said.
Three people were arrested and three firearms seized. Two of the firearms had been stolen from the police officers. The third was taken from a Johannesburg metro police officer in September.
Police were searching for the other suspects.
CCTV frame grabs of the incident were circulating on the internet on Wednesday.