BROOKLYN (AP) — A woman driving a stolen car was fatally shot Thursday during an altercation with plainclothes police officers after she had run several lights and collided with a minivan at an East Flatbush intersection, police said.
It happened at around 5:40 p.m. at the corner of Church Avenue and East 38th Street after the two officers observed a Toyota Camry being driven erratically and running a series of red lights.
Authorities are investigating the shooting. It's not clear yet whether the officer fired his weapon intentionally to stop the woman from running him over with the car, or if it was discharged accidentally in the struggle.
After the collision with the minivan, the two narcotics officers approached the car and saw the 23-year-old driver move to the passenger side and swing the door open, hitting one of the officers and throwing him backward, police spokesman Paul Browne said.
At the same time, the second officer was attempting to enter the driver's side with his gun drawn when the woman slammed the car into reverse with the officer half inside, Browne said.
During a struggle, in which the officer tried to shift the car back into park with his free hand, a single round from his gun was discharged, striking the woman in the chest, Browne said.
The woman, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to Kings County Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the minivan and both officers were treated for minor injuries.
The woman has a lengthy record and was out on bail after a recent arrest for attempted murder and kidnapping. She had a court hearing set for Friday. Her driver's license was suspended.
The Camry was reported stolen in a carjacking with a firearm on June 5, police said. The victim of that carjacking has positively identified the victim of the police shooting as the carjacker, according to police.
The officers were placed on administrative duty while a review of the shooting is conducted.
Authorities said the 44-year-old detective who fired the shot has been on the force since 2000 and has never fired his weapon before. The other officer has been on the job since 2006 and is 27.
They were driving an unmarked department car. No weapons were recovered.