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Florida: Woman shot dead while police academy exercise

FLORIDA: A civilian, Mary Knowlton, 73, has been killed accidentally during a police training exercise in Citizen Police Academy in Punta Gorda.

An officer accidentally shot Knowlton, a libertarian, during a role play situation on Tuesday night, said Tom Lewis, the police chief in Punta Gorda.

Knowlton was a student at the police academy, enrolled with other 35 people in a course to citizens who want to learn about their police services and training.

Lewis said Knowlton was taking part in an activity “shoot or don’t shoot” simulation, during which the student decide to use simulated lethal force in a “live role play” and she was mistakenly shot with a live round.

Immediately, she was taken to the Lee Memorial in Fort mayers where she was pronounced dead.

Lewis called the shooting a ‘horrible accident’.

“Our entire police department and all of our city leaders are absolutely devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event”.

The police could not identify the officer involved and the chief, Tom Lewis, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Florida department of law enforcement.