On Tuesday afternoon, police responded to an armed robbery call at the Dollar Tree in the 2000 block of Horner Boulevard.
The robbery suspect, who was armed with a knife, was surrounded by officers near a wooded area and was shot.
The suspect, identified Wednesday as 63-year-old Ronald Michael McCrary, was taken to Central Carolina Hospital but died from his injuries.
The SBI said Sanford police officer Samuel McLeod, 36, shot the suspect. McLeod has been placed on administrative leave.
William Johnson lives near the Dollar Tree and said his wife was driving by Tuesday evening and saw the commotion outside the store.
"I was shocked. Why are you trying to rob our store? And I say our store because we shop here all the time," Johnson said. "I feel you reap what you sow. You reap what you sow. So if you come to the store and you come to do harm and if you get harmed, then guess what, I really don't have any sympathy for that."
The SBI investigates whenever an officer discharges a service weapon.