Mary Knowlton remembered in Punta Gorda

Posted at 7:48 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 07:48:22-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The 73-year-old woman who was shot and killed during a Punta Gorda citizen's police academy class has been laid to rest.

Friends and family gathered Tuesday at First United Methodist Church to honor the life of Mary Knowlton, a retired librarian. She died last week when a police demonstration went terribly wrong.

Somehow live ammunition ended up in a weapon that usually only holds blanks, and Knowlton, who volunteered to participate, was shot and killed.

During the service, Knowlton's son spoke about what he loved most about his mom. "I think about my mom, and she made everybody that she ever encountered feel like they were number one. I think about that saying back when Michael Jordan was a star, everybody said 'I wanna be like Mike'. I think they should change it, 'I wanna be like Mary,'" said Steve Knowlton.

Knowlton's husband says he believes there was no "Ill intent" but it was a "series of errors" that led to his wife's death.