A woman is dead after she was accidentally shot by a Florida police officer in a citizen training academy roleplay scenario gone wrong.
Mary Knowlton was one of two participants randomly selected from a group of 35 for a shoot-don’t shoot simulation during a two-hour training Tuesday at the Punta Gorda Police Department, Chief Tom Lewis told reporters at a press conference.
“During the first scenario, in a horrible accident participant Mary Knowlton was mistakenly struck by a live round,” Lewis said.
She was transported to the local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“I am asking that if you pray, you pray for Mary’s husband and family and the officers and witnesses involved in this incident,” Lewis continued. “Everyone involved is in a state of overwhelming shock and grief.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement is already on scene investigating.
“The Punta Gorda Police Department realizes that our community will have many questions about this incident. However, we are taking care not to jeopardize the investigation,” Lewis said.
He declined to answer any questions from reporters on scene and did not address why there were live rounds in the weapon.
— Lisa Greenberg (@LisaGreenbergTV) August 10, 2016
The officer, who has not been named, is on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Punta Gorda is a city of 17,000 located on the Gulf Coast, located just over 20 miles northwest of Fort Myers.
Source: NY Daily News
Written by Keri Blakinger