A woman in Burlington, Iowa, was reportedly shot and killed by a police officer outside her home, in front of her 4-year-old son and her husband.
According to reports, 34-year-old Autumn Mae Steele was arrested on Jan. 5 on a charge of domestic abuse. After being released from jail, Steele was told she could not return to her home without an officer to escort her. When she returned to her home to retrieve her things, she reportedly got into a dispute with her husband, Gabriel, as he was loading their 4-year-old son into the car.
The officer who escorted Steele to her home reportedly tried to break up the altercation, and while he was attempting to intervene, the family’s dog reportedly approached. The officer allegedly felt threatened by the dog and pulled out his gun to shoot it. As he fired shots at the dog, one of the bullets reportedly hit the 34-year-old mother in the chest.
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“The dog startled the officer. The officer began shooting at the dog. The officer was still shooting when he fell down in the snow,” an eyewitness told The Hawk Eye.
“It appeared he was shooting at the dog when [the officer] fell to the ground,” another eyewitness reportedly said. “It’s my belief the woman was shot accidentally.”
Steele was taken to a local hospital by ambulance but later died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The officer responsible for the woman’s death has not been named, and an investigation into the incident continues.