Woman killed in simulation exercise at Florida police academy

A woman was accidentally shot and killed Tuesday during a demonstration at a police academy in Florida, authorities said.

Punta Gorda police Chief Tom Lewis called the shooting an accident and said it occurred during a “shoot or don’t shoot” scenario in which authorities use simulated lethal force in a live scenario, according to WBBH-TV.

The victim was identified as Mary Knowlton. She was one of two people randomly selected for the demonstration and was “mistakenly struck with a live round,” Lewis said.

Knowlton was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

“I am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event. 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,” Lewis said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident and the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave. The officer was not identified.

Click for more from WBBH-TV.

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