At about 7 a.m., residents reported seeing a man walking in the 14000 block of Tyler Street holding a gun and pointing it at himself and others.
An officer opened fire shortly after. It was unclear if the suspect's gun was loaded.
"At some point, as the officers moved around the suspect and tried to make contact with him, the weapon was brought in a position where it led to an officer-involved shooting," LAPD Capt. Todd Chamberlain said.
The suspect was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead. No age or identification was immediately given.
Sylmar resident Jerry Vieyra was concerned because the shooting happened as many kids were walking to school.
I "right away texted my son to see if he had gotten on the bus, everything was okay and he was good," Vieyra said.
Chamberlain said the suspect walked away from the school and started going southbound on Glenoaks Boulevard. He believes if witnesses hadn't called in, the outcome could have been worse.
"The fact that the community felt very threatened by this, it's something that a tragedy could have been averted here," Chamberlain said.
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave.