A woman was fatally shot by an officer while participating in a "shoot-don't shoot" exercise during a two-hour citizens academy hosted by the Punta Gorda Police Department in southwest Florida.
Lewis urged the public and media to avoid speculating while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues its investigation into the accidental shooting when Coel mistakenly used a revolver with live rounds to shoot Knowlton during a simulation.
Immediately after the shooting, the police chief says authorities secured the scene and called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate.
Knowlton attended the class with her husband and it was supposed to be "a fun night", her son, Steve Knowlton, said Wednesday.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Steve Knowlton talks about his mother Mary Knowlton during an interview Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, in Punta Gorda, Fla. "I obviously can't say it's easy to forgive, but it needs to be done".
"At first, we thought she just fell down".
"I am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event", Lewis told reporters during a late-night news conference at the police department.
Still, the family of Mary Knowlton is forgiving what some say was a careless and preventable tragedy.
Lawyer Scott Weinberg said Coel meant to cite his client, Richard Shumacher, for riding a bike at night without a headlight or taillight when the attack occurred.
According to the Miami Herald, Mary Knowlton was killed in a "shoot/don't shoot" scenario when she was struck by a live round.
Less than a year later, in March 2014, Coel was hired by Punta Gorda.
"Stop resisting", Coel repeatedly says to Schumacher.
"When we run scenarios, we will use starter pistols", Vasquez told The Associated Press. "You can't even put live ammunition in them".
During such an exercise, the citizen "assumes the role of the officer, and is confronted with situations in which they must make a decision about whether to use force on the role-player", Heck said.
"It just breaks my heart". She said the officer was removed to some other area. When she moved to Punta Gorda, Fla., she did the same, working, even in retirement, with at-risk kids, the local library and the Chamber of Commerce.
"We want to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Mary Knowlton", said City Manager Howard Kunik Wednesday morning. Books and magazines lay scattered on tables of the home she shared in Florida with Gary, her husband of 55 years. The couple split their time between Minnesota and the small Gulf Coast community.
"To see your wife shot and killed, and not be able to see her". "We all forgive him".
"There was shock in his face", Paquin said, as she reviewed the last of a series of photos she took during the demonstration.
"So much is on the internet now. That was important to her", Hartwigsen said.