The department says the suspect, identified as 47-year-old Steven Petterson, was wielding a knife. But some witnesses are questioning the deputies' response.
Exclusive amateur video shows the suspect dressed in shorts and a T-shirt behaving oddly in the street, carrying what witnesses say was a hockey stick. At one point he used it to strike the windows of a PT Cruiser.
"He was hacking his hockey stick at a car that was sitting at the light making a right turn," said Anthony Rucker, an eyewitness to the scene.
Rucker was inside a nearby donut shop just before 8:30 Thursday night when he heard the commotion.
Several citizens flagged down deputies after the man started running in and out of traffic at Soledad Canyon Road and Shangri-La Drive, where deputies confronted the suspect.
"He started yelling that he's not going to stop, and he's not going to let them take him," said witness Jonathan Hays. "And so he started running up and down the street."
"When the police got out of their car they asked him to drop the stick, and he started just dancing back and forth. They kept warning: 'Stop, drop the stick,' and he didn't," said Rucker.
"And then the guy just launched at the police officers, both of them, and both of them drew their guns and started shooting at him," said Rucker.
Authorities say the suspect had the hockey stick and a knife in his hand when he started approaching the two deputies. They fired multiple shots and the suspect died at the scene.
A motive for why Petterson was acting erratically was not immediately known. The investigation was ongoing.