Police accidentally kill librarian who volunteered for ‘shoot/don’t shoot’ role-play exercise

As if cops haven’t had to deal with enough devastation already this year…

A 73-year-old Florida woman volunteering to take part in a “shoot/don’t shoot” role-playing exercise at a citizen police academy was shot multiple times by a police officer.

Mary Knowlton was pronounced dead at a local hospital after a Punta Gorda police officer playing a “bad guy” fired several times at her as she played the assigned role of victim in the role play.

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

Punta Gorda police Chief Tom Lewis told NBC affiliate WBBH-TV the shooting was a “horrible accident” that was to involve simulated lethal force — it’s unclear why the officer’s weapon contained live rounds.

“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.”

The officer involved in the shooting has not been identified, but has been placed on administrative leave, WBBH-TV reported. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.

Chief Lewis’ remarks to the press can be seen here:

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Tom Tillison

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