Authorities said during a news conference Monday afternoon that it all started with a noise complaint.
The first 911 call was placed at 10:10 p.m. by Stanley Edward Thompson, who reported loud music in the Olive Chapel Pool parking lot.
"They are playing really loud music, it's vibrating my bedroom window," he said.
About 10 minutes later, a man called reporting that his son had been attacked in the same area.
"He was sitting up here and tried to adjust his stereo in the light. And so, he was sitting at the pool and this guy grabbed him," the caller said. "He was trying to get in his car, he had his door open. He had both of his doors open working on the stereo and the guy jumped in the car and basically got on top of him."
When officers from Apex police as well as the Wake County Sheriff's Office arrived, they learned that the suspect in the assault had left on foot.
K9s were brought to the area and tracked the scent of the suspect to the townhomes on White Cloud Circle.
Officers started knocking on doors and eventually ended up at 3033 White Cloud Circle, where they were met by Thompson.
Apex police said they exchanged a few words but Thompson then ended the conversation and refused to speak with them further.
Officers then spoke to a neighbor who said Thompson was known to possess firearms.
Around 10:57 p.m., Thompson emerged from his home armed with a shotgun, police said. A cloud of thick, black smoke was coming out of the building behind him.
Authorities said officers repeated commands for him to drop the weapon but he raised it and aimed it at the officers in a threatening manner while walking toward them.
Officers, including one Apex police service member, fired their weapons, hitting Thompson. Officials have not said how many shots were fired. No other injuries were reported.
"I heard five or six... sounded like gunshots, firecrackers, something like that, and that's what really freaked us out because we need there was a lot of police there, something was going on," said neighbor Jerry Hines.
Officers requested EMS and moved Thompson away from the doorway so that firefighters could knock down the fire in his home.
Thompson was later pronounced dead at the scene by EMS.
"It is unfortunate that a concern over noise was escalated to the point of assault, arson and threats of using weapons against law enforcement officers," said Apex police chief John Letteney. "And we hope to determine why that occurred."
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating.
Police chief Letteney said that Apex police do not have body cameras. They have dash cameras but are not sure if they picked anything up.
He said it's unclear how many shots were fired or how many struck Thompson, but that is part of the investigation.
"Law enforcement officers are trained to use force only when reasonable and necessary and seek to preserve life wherever possible. This was not an outcome that anyone sought," said police chief Letteney.
As per policy, the Apex officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Wake County Sheriff's Office has not commented on their involvement in the shooting.