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Florida police release video of officer shooting, killing woman during civilian training

PUNTA GORDA, FL (WCMH) -- Police in Florida have released surveillance video that shows the moment an officer shot and killed a woman during a civilian training lesson.

Video obtained by WINK, shows Mary Knowlton walking in front of the group of civilians to take part in a "Shoot-Don't Shoot" scenario.

The video shows Punta Gorda Police Officer Lee Coel playing the suspect when he fires his gun at Knowlton, before she drops to the ground.

After the shooting, it takes a moment for anyone to realize that Knowlton has been shot with real bullets. When officers realize that Knowlton is injured, paramedics were called to the scene, but she would die on the way to the hospital.

WINK reports Knowlton's husband, Gary Knowlton, was in the crowd when the shooting happened.

"He turned her over and she looked horrible. Blood all over the place, and I thought oh my God. There was maybe 5 people who were trying to save her," said Gary Knowlton.

After an investigation, it was determined Coel didn't intend to shoot and kill Mary Knowlton, but he was terminated from the force.

Coel is appealing his termination at a hearing Thursday.


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