"In one of the robberies, he fired at one of the victims," said Lt. Oscar Serrano of the Inglewood Police Department.
Police said that victim was not injured.
Officers spotted a sport utility vehicle after 9:30 a.m. near La Cienega and Manchester boulevards matching the description of the car from the robberies a short time later and tried to make an arrest, but the suspect fled.
Police chased the suspect on the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway to the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway. The suspect drove at speeds of at least 110 miles per hour.
The suspect exited the freeway at Gaffey Street in San Pedro, where he ran several traffic lights and stop signs and drove on the wrong side of the road. He finally stopped his vehicle in a parking lot and tried to flee on foot.
Police cornered the suspect in a parking lot behind San Pedro Medical Center and shot him. The circumstances of what led police to open fire are unclear.
"He fled out of his car, ran into the parking lot, where there were at least two carjack attempts," Serrano said. "The second attempt was where the officer-involved shooting took place."
The people targeted in the carjacking attempts were not hurt. However, police said the man's handgun was recovered at the scene.
"There is what appears to be a semi-automatic handgun sitting there in the parking lot where the shooting took place," Serrano said.
Mena Mazzella, a nurse who works at the medical building, witnessed the incident.
"Just as I was pulling up, I saw the police and I heard shots go off," said Mazzella, who rushed to help some of the attempted carjacking victims, a woman and her son.
"They were very shooken up," Mazzella said. "You don't hear of this too often over here. I think by the grace of God I just missed it by seconds."
The suspect, a black male in his 40s, was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where he later died. The man's identity was withheld pending notification of relatives.
No officers were injured.