Eastern Highlands Provincial Police Commander, Superintendent David Siene Jr, said the deceased was among three other male youths who recently attempted to rob an Asian shop in Goroka Town.
Their attempt was foiled by security guards who also alerted police.
PPC Siene said when police pursued the failed robbers, they were shot at.
Police shot back and killed one of them instantly while the others fled.
The PPC said a young man’s life is lost over nothing and cautioned youths of the dangers they are likely to face when getting involved in such criminal activities.
Police investigations continue.