Ex-Wis. Deputy Arrested in Shooting Deaths of Lake Elmo Woman, Sister

Updated: 08/26/2014 4:54 PM
Created: 08/24/2014 11:23 AM
By: Beth McDonough

A former sheriff’s deputy has been arrested in connection to the shooting deaths of his wife and sister-in-law at a home near Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday.

Police were called to the 3000 block of Yarmouth Greenway Drive in Fitchburg just after noon. Officers found 39-year-old Ashlee Steele of Fitchburg and her younger sister, 38-year-old Kacee Tollefsbol of Lake Elmo, with gunshot wounds.

The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office says the sisters were killed as a result of homicidal violence.

Ashlee Steele’s husband, 39-year-old Andrew P. Steele, was arrested in connection with the deaths. He's in the hospital with self-inflicted wounds. 

Andrew Steele owns the home and is a former Dane County sheriff’s deputy.

The motive behind the shooting remains under investigation.

Ashlee Steele was well-known in the church community; she taught preschool. Kacee Tollefsbol went to nursing school and is a newlywed. She got married three weeks ago and lived in Lake Elmo.

"She seemed so happy right now with her life and the direction it was going in," longtime neighbor Cathee Steeves said.

Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff called the homicides "horrific" but says it was an isolated incident and the community is safe.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says his staff is still struggling to understand what happened.

"These events have shaken each and every one of us," he said.

Steele left the department in June after he was diagnosed with ALS and could no longer perform the job duties of a deputy, according to Mahoney. He was working at the jail at the time.

He was with the sheriff's office for 14 years.

Mahoney says the office has brought in grief counselors to help staff cope with the tragedy. The department stayed in contact with Steele every day after he left duty, including earlier on Friday before the incident. Mahoney says there was no indication that there was trouble, which is part of the shock for those who know the Steele family.

We confirmed there were no prior police calls to the home. 

Charges are expected later this week.

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