Burlington, IA Jan 6 2015 – A 34 year old woman, Autumn Steele was shot and killed by a Burlington police officer after he was supervising a domestic dispute. The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation led the inquiry on Officer Jesse Hill who shot her. Almost 12 months later, no charges have been laid against the officer, with Hill having returned to duty in March 2015.
“After reviewing the complete DCI investigation, there were no criminal charges that applied to the circumstances of this case,” Amy Beavers, Des Moines County Attorney, said to KBUR.
Court records state that Steele was arrested the previous night on misdemeanor charges of domestic abuse. She was later released from jail and advised that she was not to return home for her belongings without a police officer to escort her.
Steel returned home, and as instructed, with a police escort – the same officer who later killed her.
At the time of the shooting, husband Gabriel Steele was putting their 4 year old son in the car. Autumn Steel came out of the house, followed by her dog, and proceeded to have an altercation with her husband. The police escort officer attempted to break up the disturbance, but drew his pistol as the dog ‘threatened’ the officer. Witnesses say the dog was being playful, as the officer began shooting. One of the fatal shots struck Steele in the chest.
“The dog startled the officer. The officer began shooting at the dog. The officer was still shooting when he fell down in the snow,” one witness told The Hawk Eye Newspaper.
Another witness stated “It appeared he was shooting at the dog when (the officer) fell to the ground. It’s my belief the woman was shot accidentally.”
Steele was taken by ambulance to Great River Medical Center where she later died from the single gunshot wound to the chest.
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