The incident occurred outside a 99 Cents Only Store at the intersection of Sunset and Hobart boulevards around 3:45 p.m.
According to police, employees inside the discount store called 911 after an armed suspect began breaking items inside the store.
When officers arrived at the scene, an altercation between police and the suspect ensued. Officials say they told the suspect to drop a bag of ice which he allegedly stole from the store. Information on exactly what led up to the shooting has not been released, but two officers then opened fire on the suspect.
"When the first officers arrived, they saw the suspect outside on the sidewalk in front of the 99 Cents Store armed with a knife and they ordered him to drop the knife," said Los Angeles police Cmdr. Dennis Kato. "We know that a less lethal Taser was used at that point, somehow, we're not sure yet what the specifics are after the Taser, but he continued to come at the officers, and an officer-involved shooting occurred."
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A witness, who wished to be identified as "Maria," reported hearing numerous shots.
"They shot him four times, and he was already dead," she said. "He fell on the bag of ice that he stole, and then, all of a sudden, there's this other police guy that comes and hits him two times with a stick."
Numerous other witnesses say the suspect is a homeless man who usually frequents the area. They described him as being elderly, between 70 and 80 years old.
CNS contributed to this report.