Victim identified Wis. deputy as gunman in 911 call - FOX 32 News Chicago

Victim identified Wis. deputy as gunman in 911 call

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On Tuesday, police revealed that a wounded Minnesota woman was able to call 911 before she died and identify the man who shot her and her sister as former Dane County Deputy Andy Steele.

According to an affidavit supporting homicide charges against Steele, police in Fitchburg, Wis., detailed how 38-year-old Kacee Tollefsbol, of Lake Elmo, Minn., called 911 at about 1 p.m. on Friday to report the shooting. During the call, she told operators that her 39-year-old brother-in-law had shot her in the back. The affidavit also states that Tollefsbol repeated that information to a detective while she was at UW hospital before she died.

When police arrived at the Steeles' home, they also found the body of 39-year-old Ashley Steele. Police say she was fatally shot in the head by her husband, who is in custody but has not been charged in connection with the shootings. Steele was also hospitalized for treatment of injuries "consistent with a suicide attempt." Officers located him in a laundry room with a 9mm pistol on a nearby counter, but say he was not shot. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday and transferred to the Rock County Jail.

The motive for the double slaying remains unclear. Ashlee Steele had been credited with leading a drive to raise thousands of dollars to help with her husband's medical expenses related to a recent diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also known as ALS and Lou Gherig's disease. The 15-year deputy learned he had the condition in June, and his family hoped to raise $75,000 for the medical care he would need in the coming years. The average life expectancy of a person diagnosed with ALS is two to five years.

'No indication of a problem'

The family of the victims had not taken questions or made any statements beyond the one issued by the victims' uncle, Daniel Dupuis, from Bradshaw Funeral Home before Tuesday, which is when he broke the silence and fought back his emotions outside his home in Hudson, Wis., as he told Fox 9 News the two sisters were "amazing nieces."

"I have many, many loving memories of them," he said. "They always made you smile, and brought love and joy to the room."

Dupuis told Fox 9 News there were no warning signs before the shooting, but he did confirm that Andrew Steele was diagnosed with ALS 60 days earlier and was struggling. The diagnosis forced the former Dane County deputy to retire early, and his wife had become her husband's biggest supporter in raising funds for his care. In fact, even after the deadly violence, Dupuis only had kind words about the couple.

"Total shock, total shock," he insisted. "No indication whatsoever. Andy was absolutely amazing -- loving husband. No indication of a problem."

Benefit funds set as family grieves 3 deaths

Obituaries explain that Tollefsbol was a newlywed who married her husband, Mark, just one month before she died. The mother of four was studying to be a nurse and held an English degree from the University of St. Thomas. Donations to benefit her children can be made to the Kacee Tollefsbol Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo branch by referencing account No. 658 421 5977.

Ashlee Steele had two children of her own, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She taught 3-year-olds at a church preschool. A benefit fund for her children has also been set up at Wells Fargo, and donations to account No. 658 421 6003 can be made at any branch.

Obituaries for the two sisters also revealed that their grandmother died on the same day the two were shot in the Steeles' home. The funerals for Ashlee and Kacee will be held on Friday, which is the same day Andy Steele is expected to appear in court.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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