He was sacked from the Punta Gorda Police Department, but appealed his termination.
As Knowlton got closer to Coel, who was wearing a mask, he retreated to the front bumper of the auto where he grabbed his personal revolver and fired four shots.
"Nobody in government had the stones to do what was right". "Why are accommodations not being made for him the way they are for other employees - that's the question".
Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis, who is now on administrative leave, was charged with second-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence for Mary's death.
A newly-released video (below) shows former Punta Gorda, Florida, Police Officer Lee Coel accidentally shooting and killing a retired librarian, Mary Knowlton, in August 2016.
Knowlton is seen striding to the front of a group of dozens of academy classmates who appear in the video. She takes her position for the training exercise, and Coel opens fire with his personal weapon, which was loaded with real bullets. When officers realize that Knowlton is injured, paramedics were called to the scene, but she would die on the way to the hospital. A report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement states that members of the class thought it was part of the exercise.
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"I was maybe 10 feet away from her and watched this patrolmen, who was the bad guy". We've edited the portion that shows her falling to the ground.
At that point other officers rush to help and the crowd's reaction grows from confused to stunned.
"He turned her over and she looked disgusting, blood all over the place, and I thought, 'Oh my God, '" Knowlton said.
Knowlton approached the scenario where Coel was playing the part of a "suspicious person" who was potentially breaking into a vehicle.
In February, Coel was arrested and charged with manslaughter with a firearm in the shooting.