Video released of woman shot by Punta Gorda officer

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (WSVN) – A new video was released, Thursday, showing the moment a police officer fatally shot a woman during a Punta Gorda citizens police training.

The footage shows 73-year-old Mary Knowlton stepping to the front of the crowd to participate in a “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” scenario.

Punta Gorda officer Lee Coel played the suspect as he fired his personal gun at her.

Knowlton dropped to the ground and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Her husband, Gary Knowlton, recalled the tragic moment.

“I was maybe 10 feet away from her and watched this patrolman, who was the bad guy aimed right at her and shoot,” said Gary. “He turned her over and she looked horrible. Blood all over the place, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God!’ There was maybe five people who were trying to save her.”

Investigators said they found no evidence Coel intended to shoot and kill Knowlton. However, he was terminated from the police department.

Coel is planning to appeal his termination at a hearing, Thursday.

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