The man appeared at the police station at around 2pm, carrying a 26-cm kitchen knife. After a short conversation through the window that separated the officers from the reception area, the officers asked him to come into an adjacent corridor, on the grounds that other civilians could have come in at any moment.
"After failing to respond to repeated calls to drop the knife, the man charged the police officers directly at the officers," state prosecutors said. Three officers fired a number of shots and hit the man several times, killing him at the scene, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Senior prosecutor Ken Heidenreich said all the officers were experienced, before adding that an autopsy was being carried out on the man's body in Munich. An investigation is under way to determine exactly what happened - specifically whether or not the officers acted in self-defence.
The officers had already used a pepper spray on the man, the newspaper reported.
"We will investigate whether the use of the firearm was legal," a police spokesman said. Should this not be the case, "there could be a case for manslaughter."
It remains unclear why the 73-year-old, a Starnberg local, came to the police station in the first place. None of the officers knew him, the police said. Both state prosecutors and police spokesmen would not say exactly what was said.