Miami | A 73-year-old Florida woman suffered a fatal gunshot wound while role-playing in a police simulation designed to teach people how officers decide when to use lethal force. Mary Knowlton, a librarian, died Tuesday evening after the accident in Punta Gorda on Florida’s west coast, the police department said.
She was one of 35 people taking part in a two-hour course given by the so-called Citizen Police Academy. Knowlton was one of two people selected randomly to role-play in a scenario in which they had to decide whether to use lethal force against a bad guy played by a police officer. But the officer’s gun turned out to have live ammunition, and discharged. Knowlton was rushed to a hospital but died.
I absolutely am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event, police chief Tom Lewis said at a press conference. The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.