Officers spotted a stolen vehicle near East 6th and South Lorena streets about 10:45 p.m. on Saturday and began following the male driver, LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said.
The driver was later identified as Jose Mendez, 16, said L.A. County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz.
At some point, Mendez stopped the vehicle and "an officer-involved shooting occurred," Herrera said. It's unclear if he pointed the gun at officers.
Mendez was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene.
No officers were injured during the confrontation, Herrera said.
The shooting will be reviewed by the L.A. County district attorney's office, Police Commission and its inspector general, which is customary in all police-involved shootings.
Mendez is the third person to be fatally shot by LAPD officers this year, according to The Times' Homicide Report database.