Punta Gorda Police PIO resigns following involvement in Citizen’s Academy shooting

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Two members of the Punta Gorda Police Department are off the force after officer Lee Coel’s termination appeal was denied.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office confirmed former Public Information Officer Katie Heck is the newest member of their team. The former Punta Gorda Police Department lieutenant is relinquishing her badge and gun following her involvement in the August 2016 shooting that killed retired librarian Mary Knowlton.

Independent investigations revealed Heck supplied Coel with the live ammunition used in the exercise that led to Knowlton’s death.

The former lieutenant is now serving as the public information officer for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Jeffrey Woodard, one of the senior officers on the scene during the shooting incident, also resigned, effective next Friday.

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