City fires officer who fatally shot Minn. woman in citizen academy

- The Punta Gorda police officer who fatally shot a woman from Austin, Minn. at a citizen academy session in Florida has been fired.

Officer Lee Coel's termination went into effect on Friday, according to the notice of disciplinary action. He had been on administrative leave since the incident. Coel will have 10 business days to appeal the decision.

In August, Mary Knowlton, 73, was randomly selected in the session to participate in a "shoot-don't-shoot" role play drill. Before Knowlton retired, she was a librarian at the Scott County Public Library as well as in the Eagan-Apple Valley-Savage school district. In November, Knowlton's family received a $2 million settlement from the City of Punta Gorda.

On Wednesday, Coel also entered a not guilty plea to a manslaughter charge.

 

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