Police say a Gold coast security guard who shot a bandit dead outside a tavern appears to have acted instinctively.

A security guard who shot dead an armed bandit outside a Gold Coast tavern appears to have acted instinctively, police say.

Police have interviewed the 47-year-old guard but haven’t laid charges against him after the fatal incident on Monday morning.

A 46-year-old Upper Coomera man was shot dead after ambushing the security guard about 7.40am on Monday morning.

The guard was delivering cash to the Highland Park Tavern when he was tackled by a man wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a 9mm pistol.

Police say the two men struggled and the security guard fired several shots.

The bandit suffered a number of gunshot wounds and was dead by the time officers arrived just before 8am.

The shooting forced the closure of nearby streets, and sent a child-care centre into lockdown.

The security guard suffered minor facial injuries during the struggle. He was the one who asked a passer-by to call the police.

Regional Crime Co-ordinator Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson said it appeared the licensed security guard had reacted instinctively when he was attacked.

“We all must understand that under that sort of situation he would have been acting instinctively and he may not recall exactly himself how things went down,” he told reporters on Monday.

“It’s certainly a traumatic situation for anyone and he’s traumatised by it.”

Police haven’t said whether the victim fired any shots.

He is yet to be formally identified but police believe they know who he is.

Officers seized a vehicle found in a nearby street and are examining it.

Police are also appealing to witnesses to the shooting to come forward.

The death is expected to be investigated by Queensland’s coroner.