73-year-old woman fatally shot during Florida police academy drill

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – A woman was accidentally shot and killed during a community police academy exercise in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Mary Knowlton,73, was shot by a police officer during a “shoot/don’t shoot” role-play scenario at the Punta Gorda Citizen Police Academy, Police Chief Tom Lewis said at a news conference.

Knowlton was a participant in a two-hour training course designed by the city when the accident occurred. The course Tuesday was attended by 35 civilians.

Lewis said the gun used in the active shooter scenario role play mistakenly had a live round in it. Knowlton was transported to a local hospital after the shooting and was pronounced dead.

“I am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event,” Lewis said.

“If you pray, please pray for Mary’s family, and for the officers who were involved. Everyone involved in this accident is in a state of overwhelming shock and grief.”

He said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had been contacted to initiate an investigation into the incident.

In the United States, 33,636 people died from firearm-related incidents in 2013, the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.