A woman told police before she died that she had been attacked by her brother-in-law, a newly retired Wisconsin sheriff's deputy suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, according to new court documents.
Andy Steele, a former Dane County Sheriff's deputy, was arrested after the attack at his home Friday that left his wife, Ashlee Steele, and her sister, Kacee Tollefsbol, dead. He hasn't been charged yet, but according to investigators, Tollefsbol implicated him as her assailant twice before she died at the University of Wisconsin hospital in Madison.
Much about the attack, including what precipitated it, remains unclear. Before her death, Ashlee Steele was credited with spearheading a drive to raise thousands of dollars toward Andy Steele's medical care and other expenses. But a police affidavit released Tuesday offered new details about the immediate aftermath of the shootings.
According to the affidavit, Tollefsbol, 38, of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, called 911 at around 1 p.m. Friday from her sister's home in Fitchburg, a Madison suburb of about 26,000 residents. She said her brother-in-law had shot her in the back and she thought he must have shot himself because she heard two shots.
Officers found her in the basement, where she again said her brother-in-law had shot her. She died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Members of a sheriff's department SWAT team found 39-year-old Ashlee Steele dead in the home. She had been shot in the head. They found Andrew Steele in a laundry room and a 9 mm pistol on the counter.
The affidavit said two rounds had been fired in the house. Andrew Steele hadn't been shot, but police said he was treated at a hospital for injuries consistent with a suicide attempt.
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney has said that Andrew Steele, a 15-year deputy, resigned in June after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS attacks nerve cells and can lead to paralysis and death. The average life expectancy is two to five years after diagnosis.
His family was trying to raise $75,000 for his medical care and other expenses. Ashlee Steele's Facebook page contains several videos of her husband's law enforcement colleagues taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in his honor.
According to the sister's obituaries, Kacee Tollefsbol was studying to be a nurse and held a degree in English from the University of St. Thomas. A mother of four, she had just married Mark Tollefsbol a month before she died. Ashlee Steele, a mother of two, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught three-year-olds at a church preschool.
Their grandmother died the same day they were killed, the obituaries said.
Steele, Ashlee Christen (Putnam) Died unexpectedly on Friday, August 22, 2014 in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, along with her cherished sister Kacee (Putnam) Tollefsbol. Ashlee was born January 24, 1975 in Laguna Hills, California. Growing up she lived in California, Michigan, and Minnesota. Ashlee was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She was a gentle, fun, and deeply appreciated 3s teacher at Christ Memorial Preschool. She had boundless love for children, including her students, many nieces and nephews, and most especially the son and daughter to whom she was fiercely devoted. Ashlee delighted in being part of a big family and took her role as the oldest of four siblings semi-seriously - she projected authority when necessary but was too cheerful and witty to be serious for long. She approached challenges with confident determination and was beautiful inside and out. Ashlee is survived by her children Jack (turning 13 this week) and Rachael (10); husband Andrew Steele of Fitchburg; parents Mike and Diane (DuPuis) Putnam of Stillwater; brother Brad (Rachelle) Putnam; sister Hailee (Steven) Meisterling; grandmother Joan DuPuis; and many other adoring family members and friends. Grandmother Norma Putnam died recently in Wisconsin Rapids, coincidentally also on August 22. A celebration of Ashlee and Kacee's life will be Friday, 2:00 P.M. at CHURCH OF ST. MICHAEL, 611 South Third Street Stillwater. Family will receive friends following the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ashlee Steele Memorial Fund, for the benefit of her children. Call or visit any Wells Fargo branch and refer to account # 658 421 6003. Bradshaw 2800 Curve Crest Blvd., Stillwater 651-439-5511.
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