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DENVER — Several dozen people with candles and protest signs gathered near the alley where Denver police officers fatally shot a 16-year-old girl on Monday, recalling her bright smile and demanding answers about the deadly encounter.

Police shot the teenager Monday morning after they say she struck and injured an officer with a stolen car. Authorities did not release the girl's name, but friends identified her as Jessica Hernandez.

Nineteen-year-old Cynthia Valdez, a close friend and schoolmate of the girl, said Monday night "we're angry about it. It's another life taken by another cop."

Police Chief Robert White says an officer had been called to check on a suspicious vehicle. White says a colleague arrived and as the officers approached the car, the driver struck one of them with the vehicle. The officers then opened fire.

Image: Nazzi McDonnell
Nazzi McDonnell, left, of Colorado Springs, Colo., joins other participants in waving placards during a vigil near the scene of a fatal shooting of a young woman who hit and injured a Denver Police Department officer while driving a stolen vehicle on Monday.David Zalubowski / AP
— The Associated Press