An investigation is underway after Vancouver Police shot and killed a man outside a downtown office building Friday morning.

The incident started at about 10:30 a.m. Friday, when police got a call about two men breaking into cars on Granville Street. A few blocks away, at Homer St. near Dunsmuir St., they caught up with two men who they believed were the suspects. Two officers approached, with guns drawn.

The man who was shot had an X-acto knife, which he waved at the officers.

Vancouver Police Const. Jana McGuinness said the man did not comply with orders to drop the knife.

More than 50 people witnessed the shooting. Some say there was no need for police to pull the trigger.

"This is not fair what the police do," said Luis Zamor, who witnessed the scene.

"Police are supposed to come out and arrest the guy, stop the guy, but he just come straight out and shoot the guy."

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu is promising a fair investigation into his officer's conduct, by bringing in another police force to lead it.

Even though Abbotsford Police is headed by a former Vancouver police veteran, Chu says he doesn't believe it's a conflict.

"In this case, it was available to do it and they are one of the larger police agencies,'' Chu said.

The Vancouver Police will investigate the actual crime scene and a coroner will do its own probe.

The officer who fired the shot has five years experience. As for the victim, police say he appears to be in his 50s. They haven't been able to identify him yet.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Renu Bakshi