Police spokesman Loretta Cool said Van Spronsen ignited a car and tried to explode a propane tank before he was fatally shot by four police officers.
No officers were injured.
The shooting took place about six hours after a peaceful rally in front of the detention centre.
The motive for Van Spronsen's actions was not known, Cool said.
According to authorities, the police are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security to conduct further investigation.