Woman Fatally Shot During Citizen Police Academy

PHOTO: Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom LewisPlayABC 7 Fort Myers
WATCH Woman Accidentally Shot During Citizen Police Academy

A Citizen Police Academy event in Florida ended tragically on Tuesday when a woman was shot with a live round and later died.

The shooting 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 to take part in a shoot/don't shoot role play, in which they made decisions whether to use lethal force, according to a statement released by the police. During the first scenario, 73-year-old Mary Knowlton was shot with a live round. Authorities rushed her to Lee Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

PHOTO: Mary Knowltons Facebook profile picturePunta Gorda Police
Mary Knowlton's Facebook profile picture

"I am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event," Police 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 investigating the incident. One officer been placed on administrative leave, the police said.