A 73-year-old woman has been fatally shot by a police officer during a live gun safety demonstration at police headquarters.
Mary Knowlton was participating in a ‘shoot/don’t shoot’ role-playing situation, with Punta Gorda Police in Florida when she was mistakenly struck with a live round, reports WinkNews.
Mary was rushed to hospital where, sadly, she was pronounced dead.
LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE PUNTA GORDA POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Interim Police Chief, Thomas Lewis, said:
Our entire police department and all of our city leaders are absolutely devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event
I am asking that if you pray, you pray for Mary’s husband and family and for all the officers and witnesses that involved this incident.
Punta Gorda police have not identified the officer involved, but said they had been placed on ‘administrative leave’ and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been asked to conduct an investigation into the incident.
The gun safety academy Mary was attending is a free eight-session course offered to as many as 35 people who are interested in learning local civics.
Our thoughts go out to Mary’s family and it is so sad that her death yet again highlights the fact that even in the most highly trained hands, in an environment specifically set up to demonstrate safe use, guns continue to take lives.