Woman Accidentally Shot During Citizen Police Academy

Punta Gorda Police(PUNTA GORDA, Fla.) — A Citizen Policy Academy event in Florida ended tragically on Tuesday when a woman was shot with a live round and later died.

The fatal accident took place at a two-hour training session hosted by the Punta Gorda Police Department, which about 35 civilians attended. Two of the participants were randomly selected and staged a mock “shoot/don’t shoot” scenario, in which they made decisions on whether or not to use lethal force in a live role play, according to a statement released by the police. During the first scenario, participant Mary Knowlton was shot with a live round. Authorities transported her to Lee Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"I am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event," Chief Tom 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 Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently investigating the incident. One officer been placed on administrative leave, the police said.

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