An RCMP officer also sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound, the circumstances of which, investigators say, are under investigation. The officer was transported to hospital for medical treatment.
The confrontation happened some time around 2:30 a.m. underneath the Semiahmoo Library at 152 Street and 18 Avenue. The building also serves as an RCMP detachment.
Insp. Mike Bhatti with Surrey RCMP said officers were responding to a report of a screaming male.
Neighbour Andrea Taggart said she heard a man yelling for help just before the shooting.
"I heard someone calling for help and yelling, 'They're going to kill me,' and that's why I came outside," said Taggart.
"That's what I heard."
Taggart said she heard the man repeat his cry for help several times over the course a minute or so.
She said there didn't appear to be anyone chasing the man, who was a short distance from the place where a man was shot dead.
"Police officers attended, there was a confrontation, and the suspect male was shot and subsequently has died," said Bhatti.
Taggart said she heard the gunshots as she was approaching 152 Street.
"There were six or seven shots that rang out in the time it took me to round the corner," said Taggart, adding that the shots came in separate bursts.
"There were three police officers, one of them leaning over, and the other two approaching, kind of bent over a body at the fence," Taggart said of the dramatic scene in the parking area underneath the library.
RCMP secured the crime scene and handed jurisdiction over to the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., which investigates incidents of officer-related deaths or serious injuries.