By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - A young woman suspected of driving a stolen car filled with teenage passengers was shot dead by Denver police on Monday after she struck an officer with the vehicle as he approached on foot, authorities said.
Denver Police Chief Robert White told reporters that there were five very young people inside the car when the shooting occurred, and the person who was fatally shot "appeared to be a teenager."
Her name and age were not immediately released.
White said the incident began when an officer responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle in an alley in the city's Park Hill neighborhood.
The first officer on scene ran the plates on the car and was told it was stolen and called for back-up, White said. A second officer then arrived and when the pair approached the vehicle, the driver hit one of the officers with the car.
"Both officers fired several shots" at the driver, White said, and the person who was shot was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The chief said the officer who was struck suffered a possible broken leg and was expected to recover.
The names of the officers who fired their weapons were not released. Both officers are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting.
None of the four passengers were injured and White said they were taken into custody as part of the investigation.
Denver Police said in a statement that prosecutors and the city's independent police monitor are assisting in the probe.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Sandra Maler)