Authorities said officers responded at 5:36 p.m. to a possible intoxicated suicidal man at a home at 1510 S. 41st Street.
"In the course of trying to resolve the incident, shots were fired," said St. Joseph Police Chief Chris Connally.
Connally says the man was armed with a weapon. He would not give additional details surrounding the circumstances related to the shooting or if the dead man had fired at police.
"Anytime you're dealing with someone with a firearm or somebody who is intoxicated with a firearm, it's certainly a dangerous situation," Connally said.
Before the shooting, a neighbor says she saw a man who lives at the house standing in his driveway talking with two women. At the time, she said there was no screaming or shouting going on.
"I saw him with his hand up by his forehead," said Maria Meier, who lives across the street. "I didn't know whether he had a cellphone or if it was a gun."
Meier said the man and the two women talked for a while before one of the women ran away. She says at that time police appeared from behind the house.
And then she heard the sound of gunfire.
"It sounded like a cannon going off," she said. "Bam, bam, bam."
Maier says she thought she heard as many as six gunshots.
Afterward, Maier says she saw two policemen standing over the fallen man.
The names of the victim and the officer involved have not been released.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave.
The shooting remains under investigation.