The Los Angeles Police Department said the man, identified as Reggie Doucet, took a taxi from Drai's Hollywood, a nighclub in Hollywood, to Playa Vista and refused to pay his fare. The taxi driver then called police.
When officers arrived, they saw Doucet naked and jumping on parked cars. Police said he cooperated only long enough to put boxer shorts on.
Sgt. Mitzi Grasso said the suspect immediately started fighting with the officers. She said Doucet fled from police and when caught, another fight occurred, at which point one of the officers drew his weapon and fired, killing Doucet.
A witness said she was asleep but was awakened by the sound of somebody yelling outside incoherently.
"They were trying to detain him and then he was trying to flee and then there was a fight -- I could hear a fight -- and then I heard two shots," said witness Monica Vogelbacher.
Doucet's friend Chris Ellison said the former cornerback for Middle Tennessee State University was never violent in the seven years they were neighbors.
"I'm saddened by this because he was such a promising young man. You know, you see a young African American trying to make something better of himself," said Ellison. "He's in front of his house and he's killed by the police. It's kind of disturbing."
Ellison questions why police resorted to using deadly force on a man who wasn't armed.
"From my understanding, he was half naked to show that he was unarmed. So I'm a little perplexed by why different procedures weren't used in subduing him," Ellison said.
Authorities said the two officers involved were taken to an area hospital with minor injuries, with one of the officers inflicted with a sore jaw.