When constables Pounraj and Ramesh attempted to apprehend Vallarasu late last night in connection with a case, he hacked them with the machete, grievously injuring the former.
Pounraj was rushed to a hospital and had to get 20 stitches, police said, adding that the other constable who sustained minimal injuries was also being treated.
Later, another team of police personnel, led by police Inspector Miller, was deployed to nab the culprit and they spotted him after several hours early Saturday at Madhavaram.
"When Miller and his team spotted Vallarasu, he attacked them with the machete despite being asked to drop the weapon," a police official told PTI.
Given the gravity of the situation, the police team was forced to open fire in self defence in which the accused died, he said.
Vallarasu had several cases against him, including one related to murder, attempt to murder and robbery, he said.
Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan visited the injured constable in the hospital.
Last year, another history sheeter Anandan was shot dead by police here.