Police Officer Who Fatally Shot 73-Year-Old Librarian Learns His Fate

A Florida police officer who accidentally shot and killed an innocent woman during a police exercise was sentenced this week to 10 years of probation. Back in 2016, retired librarian Mary Knowlton attended a police simulation in Punta Gorda, FL, explaining the use of lethal force, together with 30 other civilians. Knowlton role-played a cop in a demonstration while Officer Lee Coel pretended to be a bad guy with a gun. Coel thought his gun was loaded with blanks, but tragically it was loaded with live ammunition. She was killed when he fired four shots at her during the exercise.

In his courtroom appearance Coel displayed such genuine remorse and grief at the tragedy. I hope both Knowlton's family and Coel can find some peace eventually.

 

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