The Florida retiree who was fatally shot during a citizen police academy drill was playing the part of an intruder when she was hit, her son said Wednesday.
Mary Knowlton, 73, was taking part in a "shoot/don't shoot" exercise when she was struck by a live round while almost three dozen other participants looked on, police said.
Knowlton's son, Steve Knowlston, tells NBC News that he forgives the Punta Gorda police officer who fired the fatal shot, adding his mother "taught us never to hate."
Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis said the fatal shot was fired from a revolver that the officer had used before in "earlier exercises."
"We were unaware that any live ammunition existed for this kind of weapon," Lewis said. "We thought only blanks were available."