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A police  in a shoot/don’t shoot demonstration in Florida went shockingly  wrong when an officer shot and killed a 73-year-old former librarian with what police said was real ammunition used by mistake at an event designed to bring police and the public together.

Authorities didn’t immediately say how a gun with a live round came to be used at Tuesday evening’s demonstration, noting 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.

 “We were unaware that any live ammunition was available to the officer,” Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis said at a news conference Wednesday. “The officer involved is grief stricken. We’ve got officers assigned to him to make sure he’s psychologically stable.”

Mary Knowlton, a well-known community volunteer, was shot after being randomly selected to take part in the role-playing scenario illustrating the split-second decisions an officer must make about firing. It was part of a popular citizens academy attended by 35 people, including her 75-year-old husband. The Florida officer who killed a woman Tuesday night during a role-play simulation was reportedly asked to resign by another south Florida police department. It seems that earlier this year he sic his dog on a cyclist.


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