Police in Iowa have made public a video showing the moment a mother was fatally wounded after being hit by a police officer’s bullets reportedly intended for her dog.
On Monday, Iowa’s Criminal Investigation Division released the footage that showed Burlington police Officer Jesse Hill fatally shooting Autumn Steele in front of her four-year-old son.
From the edited 12-second clip of the incident that occurred on January 6, Hill is filmed responding to a domestic dispute between Steele and her husband over their young son.
Wearing his body-cam, Hill can be seen approaching the couple as Autumn Steele shouts “He’s got my kid!”, pointing at her husband Gabriel, who can be seen carrying the child away.
Warning: This video may contain footage some viewers may find distressing
A dog can be heard barking aggressively in the background as Hill warns Steele to “Get the dog!”
The camera then quickly tilts up towards the sky before two shots are fired, followed by Steele’s moans.
An autopsy following the shooting determined that Steele had died from a fatal gunshot to the chest.
The video ends with Gabriel standing over Autumn saying, “he shot you?”
The video's release coincides with the news that Hill could be released from administrative leave this week and return full officer duties as soon as Friday.
Last month, Des Moines Country Attorney ruled that no criminal charges would be brought against Hill.
Burlington Police Chief Dough Beaird also confirmed that Hill would not face disciplinary action for the shooting.
In a statement, Beaird said: “(Hill's action) was reasonable. You have the right to protect yourself from injury.
”He was attacked and bitten and at the same time. He's dealing with a physical altercation over a 4-year-old child. There are a lot of things at play here than just a dog.“
Gabriel Steele’s attorney Trent Henkelvig, disagreed with Beaird and believes that Hill should have been reprimanded, saying that he was under no “deadly threat” and that the officer was too “quick to use” deadly force.
Burlington police department policy states an officer may use deadly force only when they reasonably believe it's in defence of human life, including the officer's.Reuse content