Crime-scene-300x243The family of a woman accidentally shot and killed by a Burlington police officer last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Burlington and Officer Jesse Hill.

It alleges Hill acted improperly when he accidentally shot 34-year-old Autumn Steele in January of last year when he slipped on ice while attempting to shoot her dog. The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Gabriel Steele, Autumn’s husband with whom she was engaged in a domestic dispute with when she was killed, Gina Colbert, her mother, and Sean Schoff, a friend of the family.

The filing comes as Steele’s family, along with the Burlington Hawk Eye Newspaper, are engaged in an ongoing public records dispute with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Des Moines County Attorney’s Office, and the Burlington Police Department over whether or not law enforcement improperly withheld documents related to the case.

Last April, police released a 13-second body camera video of the incident, from the perspective of Officer Hill, in which Steele can be seen arguing with her husband over their young son. Officer Hill approaches the couple, at which point a dog can be heard growling. After telling Steele to “Get your dog,” Hill falls backward, and two shots ring out.

Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers opted not to file charges against Hill in February of last year. No hearing has been set in the case.

(Reporting by Rob Sussman, KBUR, Burlington)