The unidentified man became combative during the stop, which deputies made in the course of a stolen-vehicle investigation, according to a department news release.
During the struggle, near the intersection of Ferris Avenue and Whittier Boulevard, deputies said they believed the man was reaching for a gun, according to the release.
The suspect refused to obey orders, resulting in the shooting, the release said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, the deputies were not injured.
A .22 caliber handgun was recovered and two additional occupants of the vehicle were detained, according to the release.