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Woman fatally shot during police academy drill - CNN.com


Unbelievable!

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — A woman was shot to death during a “shoot or don’t shoot” training exercise Tuesday at the Punta Gorda Police Academy, according to police.

Punta Gorda police Chief Tom Lewis said the woman was “mistakenly struck with a live round” during a Citizens Academy scenario designed to simulate the use of lethal force. It’s not clear how the apparent fatal ammunition mix-up occurred.

The woman, identified as Mary Knowlton, was randomly selected to participate in the exercise as roughly 35 people watched.

She was shot multiple times during a role-play exercise in which the officer pretended to be the “bad guy,” with Knowlton playing the victim, a photographer covering the event told the Charlotte Sun.
 

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There are no words to justify this kind of negligence.

Whenever I have done role-play with the local police, no real weapons are allowed into the training area; no matter who is involved. Even the instructors have to remove their service weapons and are issued training simulators.
 

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(I smell lawsuit)

Duh ! Using a loaded firearm for an exercise with a elderly woman !!!!
 

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It's a shoot-no shoot drill. Did they ever consider someone would choose shoot?

How did a loaded gun get into this exercise? Oh, that's right..."I didn't think it was loaded".
 

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Whenever we practiced drills like this we were safe to a ridiculous extreme. Whenever possible we used practice pistols that were blue rubber. No live rounds were permitted in the training area. The trainer checked the weapon and verified it was clear and handed it to the trainee, who repeated the clearing procedures and repeated, "Weapon is safe". If anyone violated safety rules, like pointing a training weapon at a "suspect" with their finger on the trigger, they were given a stern warning. A second offense and they were decertified and had to go through safety training.

Trainees would roll their eyes and moan, but many of them violated some of the safety rules during the exercise, like sweeping other LEOs when they were clearing a building or drawing a weapon or putting their fingers on the trigger when holding a suspect. One guy even tried to hold his weapon under his arm as he tried to put the cuffs on a suspect.
 

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No diss to LE professionals, but in general the LAC firearms aficionados are more adept with handling firearms than the typical LEO who sees it, in some cases, as a necessary part of the job and has to be prompted to qualify.

I blame his management team, really. It should have been impossible for him to have a loaded firearm on this course. Maybe, though he brought a personal handgun with him. Not clear at this point.

It will be ruled an accident.
 

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One guy even tried to hold his weapon under his arm as he tried to put the cuffs on a suspect.
That is about the funniest thing I have hear. And Sad to.

When I was in U.S. Army M.P. school (my second time through a police academy) we had a guy put both cuffs on the same wrist (his) with the key holes facing each other. That didn't sit well with the Drill Instructors.
 

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Looks like the Punta Gorda police department needs to be evaluated by an independent party. From the top down, something really stinks about this. Where were the blue guns? Where was the supervision? Lots of questions, and not many intelligent answers, in my humble opinion.
 

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Looks like the Punta Gorda police department needs to be evaluated by an independent party. From the top down, something really stinks about this. Where were the blue guns? Where was the supervision? Lots of questions, and not many intelligent answers, in my humble opinion.
You're exactly right. Loaded or unloaded, there are plenty of training options available to avoid the need to ever point a real firearm at anyone that isn't a legitimate candidate for being shot. People used to use sim kits that allowed you to use your real firearm but dedicated sim guns are now the standard, for a pretty good reason. People were getting shot with live rounds and dying in training exercises.

In any case, even if dedicated sim guns are used, who in the world, thinks it's a good idea to shoot a 73 year old lady with a sim round?! They hurt and leave injuries, which are no big deal for a guy in his 20s or 30s, but could be a serious problem for an elderly person.

This whole thing is so stupid it's hard not to question the maturity of whoever came up with it.
 

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Im reminded of the scene from "THE WATCH", where the costco night guard is alone at night, hears noise, draws his gun, and says "They gave me a gun, OK? And they didnt teach me how to use it. So you are in real danger right now."
 

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Two of my brothers were cops. They told me that a lot of the guys on the force aren't gun guys and only fire once a year for their annual requal. If it were me and the city was paying for my ammo, I'd be at the range at least once a week.
 

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A royal grand screwup... I don't understand how nobody triple checked the gun used in this training, and make sure no life ammo was in the room. Even gun shows have better safety rules...
 

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No diss to LE professionals, but in general the LAC firearms aficionados are more adept with handling firearms than the typical LEO who sees it, in some cases, as a necessary part of the job and has to be prompted to qualify.

I blame his management team, really. It should have been impossible for him to have a loaded firearm on this course. Maybe, though he brought a personal handgun with him. Not clear at this point.

It will be ruled an accident.
This is mostly true, but not entirely. I know a few police officers who are phenomenal shooters, because they enjoy shooting and do it a lot on their own time. Many officers shoot because it's part of their job. LAC's shoot because they want to, not because it's part of their job.

Anyway, Who wants to take bets on whether or not he will be brought up on charges?
 

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Two of my brothers were cops. They told me that a lot of the guys on the force aren't gun guys and only fire once a year for their annual requal. If it were me and the city was paying for my ammo, I'd be at the range at least once a week.
My dad was a LEO for 29 years. I grew up being around cops. My dad would go to the police range weekly sometimes more. He enjoyed shooting and competing in police shooting matches. I can remember him saying that most guys only went to the range as you said once a year to qualify.
 

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Some body should be charged. The city punta gorda will have one hell of a law suit on there hands. What a stupid tragedy.
 

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I tend to think that most LE just dont shoot enough to get and stay good at it. However, locally, our Sheriffs Dept, and local police are probably exceptions to that.

The reason why gets interesting. We are nearby Tactical Response. One of the training officers for the dept is a former Tactical Response instructor, and has provided intensive training for both depts, (those who wish it), and some members of the community.

Im both a Tactical Response Alum, and was invited to the other training. It might be interesting to some how the LE people there responded to such training.

They were tickled with it, and very eager. It was not mandatory, but a large contingent of younger LE members showed up, providing their own ammo. 500 rounds per day.

Was darn good training, and Im sure it was well beyond anything most LE receive. And a good time.
 

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Supposedly, the vast majority of the police never have to fire their guns at another person throughout their career.

https://www.policeone.com/use-of-force/articles/3468102-Shooting-center-mass-The-dangers-of-denial/

Even with about three-quarters of a million police officers working the streets of America — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — few will ever actually exercise their highest level of authority. With all of the deadly threats presented to police officers, America can typically expect only between 300-400 incidents of law enforcement officers firing their weapons at persons annually. Incredibly, it is estimated that in America, less than 12 percent of police officers will ever draw and fire their weapons at another person — in the entire course of their career!
With that sort of percentages, it's probably not surprising that an officer would treat it as no more important in learning how to operate than learning all the features on their new radio.
 

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Gray Lives Matter !!!

 
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