MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says his staff is still struggling to understand what happened after one of his former deputies is accused of murdering two women.
Mahoney held a news conference Sunday afternoon to discuss how the sheriff's office is dealing with the incident and offer his thoughts and prayers to the families involved.
Fitchburg police said Saturday former deputy Andy Steele is a suspect in the homicide of Steele's wife Ashlee and her sister Kacee Tollefsbol. The two were found shot in the Steeles' home Friday afternoon. Dane County deputies were the first to enter the home in Fitchburg.
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. Steele was with the sheriff's office 14 years and Mahoney says he was an exemplary employee.
Mahoney says the office has brought in grief counselors to help staff cope with the tragedy. He says the department has been left shaken and will be deeply impacted.
"Their families were connected to our families as an organization and we'll all move forward together," Mahoney told the media, while fighting back tears.
The department stayed in contact with Steele every day after he left duty, including earlier on Friday before the incident. Staff talked with the family about upcoming fundraising events for ALS and other plans to move forward with the illness.
Mahoney says there was no indication of trouble, which is part of the shock for those who know the Steele family.
"Each of us struggle to understand and come to grips with what occurred in the Steele home on Friday and what led to the violent deaths of these two mothers," Mahoney says.
Fitchburg police have not released details about what led to the deaths. Police said Saturday Andy Steele was in police custody in the hospital recovering from injuries not caused by law enforcement officers. No update was provided Sunday on Steele's condition.