You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Surveillance video shows Florida officer fatally shoot civilian during gun class


Recently released surveillance video shows the fatal shooting of a civilian by a Punta Gorda, Florida, police officer during a role-playing exercise in the police department’s parking lot.

Retired librarian Mary Knowlton, 73, was among a group taking a Citizens Police Academy course on Aug. 9, 2016, and was taking part in a “shoot/don’t shoot” scenario when Officer Lee Coel, playing the part of an armed suspect, raised his weapon and fired several times at Knowlton. The edited video released to the media does not show the actual shooting.

>> Watch the edited clip here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

No one immediately reacts as Knowlton falls to the ground. A report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement states that members of the class thought it was part of the exercise.

Coel and other officers run to Knowlton as they realize she had been shot with real bullets, and call 911 for medical aid.

“I was maybe 10 feet away from her and watched this patrolman who was the ‘bad guy,’ aimed right at her and shoot,” said Knowlton’s husband Gary during a CNN interview. “He turned her over and she looked horrible. Blood all over the place, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God.’”

>> Read more trending news

Gary Knowlton said after the shooting police would not allow him to travel with Mary in the ambulance, sent him to the wrong hospital and no one would immediately tell him her condition. He found out later that his wife died in the ambulance.

The FDLE investigation found no evidence Coel intended to shoot Knowlton. He was terminated from the police department, and will appeal his termination at a hearing scheduled for this week. He has pleaded not guilty to a felony manslaughter charge.

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis is charged with second-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence. He is on paid administrative leave.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Manchester explosion: Here’s what we know about the victims
Manchester explosion: Here’s what we know about the victims

Authorities continue  to sort out what happened Monday night when a man who police believe was a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside an arena in Manchester, England, The explosion happened moments after the conclusion of a concert by pop star Ariana Grande. At least 19 have been confirmed dead and nearly 60 injured as...
Donald Trump reportedly asked NSA and director of national intelligence to undermine FBI’s investigation
Donald Trump reportedly asked NSA and director of national intelligence to undermine FBI’s investigation

President Donald Trump sought to have Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers publicly discredit the FBI’s investigation into Russian ties to his campaign by denying the existence of any evidence of collusion. That’s according to current and former intelligence officials...
No UT students currently in Manchester through university programs, officials confirm
No UT students currently in Manchester through university programs, officials confirm

No University of Texas students are currently on official university travel in Manchester, England, where an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert killed 19 people and injured about 50 others, university officials confirmed. Still, the school’s international office is in the process of contacting students currently or soon to be...
Florida DUI suspect sends patrol car into ‘don’t drink and drive’ cruiser
Florida DUI suspect sends patrol car into ‘don’t drink and drive’ cruiser

A Florida man accused of drunk driving earned a trip to jail and some ribbing from the sheriff’s office. On Saturday night, Paul M. Wilkins, 63, of Crystal River drove his car into a parked patrol car that had its lights flashing, which was pushed into another patrol car, that had been freshly emblazoned with a “Don’t Drink and Drive&rdquo...
MANCHESTER ATTACK: Gov. Greg Abbott calls explosion at Ariana Grande concert ‘terror attack,’ asks for prayers for victims 
MANCHESTER ATTACK: Gov. Greg Abbott calls explosion at Ariana Grande concert ‘terror attack,’ asks for prayers for victims 

Gov. Greg Abbott, reacting to what’s being described as an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, in which 19 people have been confirmed dead and around 50 were injured, asked his followers on Twitter to “send prayers for the terror victims.” Greater Manchester Police have said the explosion is being treated...
More Stories