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Cop Shoots, Kills 73-year-Old Woman During Citizens Training Exercise

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A woman attending a citizens training academy in Punta Gorda, Florida, was accidentally shot and killed by a police officer during a role-play exercise Tuesday.

Mary Knowlton, 73, attended the training session meant to “help members of the community understand law enforcement tactics,” according to the New York Times. She was randomly picked out of 35 students to participate in a “shoot/don’t shoot” session to teach people how to make decisions in situations when confronted with lethal force. The officer, playing the role of the “bad guy,” fired several rounds at Knowlton, who was struck at least once and later pronounced dead at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Police Chief Tom Lewis told reporters at a press conference Wednesday that the unnamed officer who killed Knowlton has been placed on administrative leave and an investigation is currently underway.

“The Punta Gorda Police Department realizes that our community will have many questions about this incident,” Lewis said. “However, we are taking care not to jeopardize the investigation.”

Lewis took no questions at the conference and would not clarify why live rounds were used during a civilian demonstration.

Knowlton was originally from Austin, Minnesota, and worked as a librarian in Scott County, Minnesota. She had two sons with her husband of 50 years.

SOURCE

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