No officers or civilians were struck during the gun battle.
Los Angeles police said the pursuit began about 6 p.m. near Sunset Boulevard and Rosemont Street in Echo Park. Officers said they received a LoJack tip about a stolen vehicle in North Hollywood.
The suspect, described only as a white male, was wanted for a July homicide in the Rampart area, police said. They did not identify the suspect.
Driving a white two-door car, the suspect struck at least one car and almost hit pedestrians in a crosswalk as he drove erratically through the downtown, Echo Park, Westlake and Silver Lake areas. He frequently blew through red lights, maneuvered into oncoming traffic and cut through gas stations.
As officers gave chase, the driver came to the intersection of Bixel and 7th streets near Staples Center, where he collided with another car as they moved through the intersection.
The suspect stumbled out of the car carrying what appeared to be a rifle. The suspect appeared to fire several shots before he was downed by police gunfire. Officers surrounded the suspect with high-powered firearms but kept their distance as the man was on the ground, the rifle next to him within reach.
A police K-9 was sent to subdue the suspect and officers moved in.WATCH VIDEO: Armed murder suspect shoots at police
It appeared the suspect was alive. He was placed in the back of an ambulance.
LAPD officials said the suspect's brother was shot dead by officers two years ago in September. Similarly to Tuesday's incident, that suspect was in a stolen vehicle, got out and shot at officers with an AK-47 before being fatally struck by police.
CORRECTION: It was earlier reported the suspect fired an AK-47 assault rifle. LAPD reports the suspect fired an assault rifle, but it was not an AK-47.