The two men fired shots at them, police said, wounding an officer. Police returned fire, killing one of the men, Karim Boudouda.
Mr Boudouda, 27, had three previous convictions for armed robbery.
The second suspected robber was still at large as of Saturday afternoon.
The riot erupted after a memorial service for Mr Boudouda, and saw more than 50 cars burned.
France was on riot alert yesterday after hundreds of Muslim youths went on the rampage in Grenoble.
Shots were fired at police and dozens of shops and cars were set on fire in the Alpine town. Trams and buses were also held up by gangs brandishing baseball bats and bars, and a service station was looted.