Sunnyside Police Sgt. Joey Glossen says the man had been firing a gun near a convenience store and continued as an officer arrived and took a defensive position.
Glossen says when the man turned the gun toward the officer, the officer fired.
Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins identified the man as 27-year-old Ramon Ayala.
"Guy was out in front of the store shooting rounds up in the air and shot the windows on the store," Jaramaya Long said. "I guess there was bullet holes in them."
Jaramaya lives across the street from the store. He said he heard the shots and ran outside. That's when he says he saw a motionless body on the ground.
"From what I heard, got shot and killed," Jaramaya said.
Neighbors told KIMA they're not surprised it happened here. They say the owner of the store recently ran into a lot of problems, especially with people trying to steal alcohol from him.
"When he's working in the back of the store. I go in there and I catch them and I tell them don't be taking the drinks," Bobby Long said.
Bobby said he's also noticed an increase in what he calls gang-related graffiti near the mini-mart. He was happy to learn the store owner was okay.
"Just scared the life out of me because the guy at TW, he's one of my best friends, and I thought he gotten shot," Bobby said.
Thee shooting leaves neighbors feeling on-edge.
"I'm scared to death of what's going on here," Bobby said.
The motive for the shooting is unknown but Glossen says it's not gang-related.
Sunnyside police asked Washington State Patrol to conduct the investigation. They say that is their policy whenever an officer is involved in a shooting. That officer is on paid administrative leave.