Shortly before noon, a vehicle attempted to enter the facility at a checkpoint, according to a base spokesperson in a statement issued late Friday.
Guards ordered the car to stop, but the driver got out with a knife and approached the gate with “hostile intent,” authorites said.
After several warnings, the driver was shot by base personnel, the statement said.
An ambulance responded and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities confirmed.
The San Diego Police Department was called to assist with the initial call, but the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) will handle the investigation, police said.
NCIS issued a statement, saying “Out of respect for the ongoing investigative process, at this time we are not able to provide additional details.”