The unidentified man made suicidal threats on social media and in calls to media outlets including KSTP in Minneapolis.
Police allege the man took drugs and became increasingly agitated during their hours of communication with him.
At one point, police said they heard a gunshot from inside the car and said the man announced he had fired the shot. Officers then fired a pepper ball in his direction and he returned fire. Police say no officers were hurt and they stopped firing.
Police say the man was eventually found dead inside the vehicle.
“This is not the outcome we wanted,” said police chief Jim Franklin.
KAAL news director Brianna Cook called the situation “heartbreaking” and said the station would provide counselors to the staff in the coming days.
“It’s just a really tough situation,” Cook said. “We’re just so sad for the family.”