A Florida police officer shot an elderly woman Tuesday night during a training seminar, in what officials are calling an accident.
Mary Knowlton, 73, was at a citizen police academy at the Punta Gorda, Fla. police station when she was shot during a two-hour long course, according to the Washington Post.
Officers chose Knowlton to role-play a lethal force scenario, intended to demonstrate police judgement in pulling the trigger, when she was shot with an officer’s loaded gun. Knowlton was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis called the incident a “horrible accident,” and that there was no word as to why the officer was carrying live ammunition. “Our entire police department and all of our city leaders are absolutely devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event,” Lewis said, according to the Post. “I am asking that if you pray, you pray for Mary’s husband and family and for all of the officers and witnesses involved in this incident.”