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Iowa Police Officer Accidentally Kills Woman While Reportedly Trying to Shoot Her Dog

Reacting to a dog, Officer Jesse Hill shot and killed a 34-year-old woman who had been involved in a domestic dispute as he was escorting her to collect belongings from home.
January 8, 2015, 8:18pm
Photo by Corwin Deckard/Flickr

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New information has emerged in the shooting death of an Iowa woman on Tuesday, indicating the officer who shot her had a run-in with her dog during the incident, according to an eyewitness account and details provided by authorities.

Burlington Officer Jesse Hill was bitten by a dog during the incident in which he shot and killed 34-year-old Autumn Mae Steele, according to a statement on Wednesday from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Steele had been arrested the previous night and charged with a domestic abuse misdemeanor. She was released Tuesday morning, and Hill was escorting her to her residence to collect some belongings. According to a neighbor who witnessed the event, the couple's German shepherd approached the officer.

"The dog startled the officer," a witness told the Burlington _Hawk Eye. "_The officer began shooting at the dog. The officer was still shooting when he fell down in the snow."

Preliminary findings suggest that Hill fired his gun twice, with one of the rounds striking Steele's torso. Another witness told the Hawk Eye that "the woman was shot accidentally."

The DCI statement confirms that Hill was treated for at least one dog bite after the incident occurred. A special agent on the investigation did not elaborate on how exactly the dog was involved, nor did he provide specific information on the injuries or how many bites there were.

An autopsy was expected to begin on Thursday, as the DCI continues its investigation into the case.

Photo via Flickr