The Des Moines County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to file charges against a police officer who shot and killed an innocent, unarmed woman at her home.
Autumn Steele, 34, of Burlington, Iowa, was shot and killed by Officer Jesse Hill the morning after a domestic dispute with her husband. The officer came to the house to “supervise” the situation as she and her husband, Gabriel Steele, prepared to part ways. Neither husband or wife were armed.
Court records show Autumn Steele was arrested the night before with a charge of domestic abuse. Steele was released from jail and informed that she could only return home with a police officer present to retrieve her belongings. Steele returned home with Officer Jesse Hill, the man who would moments later shoot at her dog and miss, killing her instead.
Reports show Gabriel Steele was putting the couple’s 4-year-old son into their vehicle when he and Autumn Steele began arguing. The couple’s dog came from inside the house and started barking. Witnesses at the scene reported that the dog was not acting aggressively, but Officer Jesse Hill chose to escalate the situation by shooting at the dog. The officer could not maintain his balance as he fired his weapon repeatedly, but continued firing even after he fell onto the ground.
The officer missed the dog, but one shot fired by the officer while he was on the ground struck Autumn Steele in the chest. She was eventually taken to the Great River Medical Center where she died from her injuries.
Officer Hill was immediately placed on paid administrative leave following the killing. It is not yet known whether the officer will return to work following the District Attorney’s decision to file no charges against him.