A man with a permit to carry a firearm fatally shot an armed would-be robber on a Brooklyn Park street, authorities said Tuesday.

The two men exchanged gunfire about 8:05 p.m. Monday in the 7500 block of Imperial Drive, police said. Officers arrived at the scene and found the man who was attempting the robbery on the ground.

The person targeted in the robbery has a valid permit to carry a handgun and was not arrested, said Deputy Police Chief Mark Bruley.

Officers recovered both guns at the scene as they continue to investigate the shooting. Police have not released the identities of the two involved in the confrontation.

Bruley said the man who died "goes back and forth between Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis. He's an individual we've known from previous contact. He certainly hangs out around here," he said, declining to explain further.

By Tuesday evening, two Hennepin County Sheriff's Office crime lab vehicles were still at the scene. Officers were surveying an area in the parking lot between an Imperial Gates apartment building and an unattached three-car garage.

One neighbor said his 9-year-old son thought he heard firecrackers Monday night until they saw police vehicles and heard the commotion of the investigation. The neighbor later learned about the shooting from the news.

Another neighbor, Kevin Brisky, said there's a large family that lives in the house where the incident started, evident by the many cars that usually spill out of the driveway. On Tuesday, there was one vehicle parked outside. No one answered the door.

The people who live at the home keep to themselves, neighbors said.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said the outcome of this shooting validates a 2003 law in Minnesota that allows people to carry a firearm in public.

"A loss of life is a tragedy," Garofalo wrote. "But when a criminal pulls a gun, they risk ending their life. Concealed carry works."

As of early this year, there were more than 221,000 active gun-permit holders in Minnesota, according to the latest data report from the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The total has grown by more than 20,000 in the past six months. Now, about one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults has a permit to carry, according to the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

There have been several instances during the past few years of suspects being shot in the act of committing a crime by people who had gun permits, including last August when 16-year-old Lavauntai Broadbent was shot to death on a St. Paul river bluff when he tried to rob a man who had a permit to carry.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

Karen Zamora • 612-673-4647