Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said a man with known mental health issues made repeated 911 calls throughout Tuesday night.
It's unclear why he was calling police, but Troyer said the man told dispatchers he was going to shoot someone.
A short time later, Troyer said that same man arrived at the Orting home of a Fife police officer. The homeowner, who was off duty at the time, told the man to leave. When he wouldn't, the officer called 911.
"As the Fife police officer was calling 911, he heard things hitting the house and it appeared shots were being fired. He returned fire, striking the suspect and killing him," Troyer said.
It's unclear why the disgruntled man stopped at the house, but Troyer said it appears he knew it was an officer's home.
"We believe so, because there was a marked patrol car in the driveway," he said.
When deputies arrived moments later they found a rifle near the deceased man, according to Troyer.
Jason Davis, a neighbor who lives across the street, says he saw the disgruntled man drive his car to the officer's driveway and park there. He says it appeared that the man walked up to the officer's front door then turned around and walked back to his car.
At that point, Davis says he heard four to six gunshots. He believes they were pistol shots.
"I know the difference betwen a rifle and a pistol, and there was no rifle shot," Davis says. "They were pistol shots, in my opinion."
Davis says he agrees with the actions the officer took.
"He's got to protect himself; he obviously thought he was in danger," Davis said.
Deputies are now looking into whether the man committed other crimes Tuesday night prior to the shooting. While that investigation continues, Troyer said there is no reason to believe anyone else in the neighborhood is in any danger.
"We want everyone to know it's secure and safe and there's no further danger to this neighborhood," he said.