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Florida Woman Killed During Police Training Session

  • VOA News

Punta Gorda, Florida, Police Chief Tom Lewis gestures as he speaks to the media at the Public Safety Complex in Punta Gorda, Florida, Aug. 10, 2016.

Punta Gorda, Florida, Police Chief Tom Lewis gestures as he speaks to the media at the Public Safety Complex in Punta Gorda, Florida, Aug. 10, 2016.

A 73-year-old woman was shot and killed by a police officer during a gun demonstration in the southern U.S. state of Florida.

Mary Knowlton was hit by a live round fired by an officer during a role-playing exercise at an event hosted by the Punta Gorda Police Department for about 35 members of the community.

Mary Knowlton is shown in family photos in Punta Gorda, Florida, Aug. 10, 2016.

Mary Knowlton is shown in family photos in Punta Gorda, Florida, Aug. 10, 2016.

Authorities didn't immediately say how a gun with a live round came to be used at Tuesday evening's demonstration. They noted that blank rounds are typically used in such classes. The officer, who wasn't immediately identified, has been placed on administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.

Knowlton’s husband of 55 years witnessed the shooting and is "devastated," her son, Steve Knowlton, told the Associated Press.

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis called the shooting a "horrible accident," and said that everyone involved is in a "state of overwhelming shock and grief."

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