Then-officer Lee Coel was performing in a "shoot/don't shoot" exercise with the Punta Gorda Police Department in the summer of 2016 when he shot Mary Knowlton, who had volunteered to participate.
She was struck by the fatal bullet in front of about three dozen people, including Knowlton's husband of 55 years, who were at the citizen police academy watching the drill about police use of firearms.
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Then-police chief Tom Lewis said at the time that the revolver Coel fired had been used in previous exercises. The gun was loaded with bullets instead of blanks.
He had also been asked to resign in 2013 from a previous job with the Miramar Police Department in Florida for "failure to satisfactorily complete agency field training program."
He wrote in his Punta Gorda application that he had been “found to have committed two simple policy violations" after he was hit with two “excessive use of force complaints” that were later deemed unfounded.
The family of Knowlton, a retired librarian and mother of two grown sons, received a more than $2 million settlement, approved by the Punta Gorda City Council.
Lewis, who had said he held himself "100 percent accountable” for the shooting, was charged with culpable negligence and found not guilty in 2017.
Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.