Police: Woman dies after boyfriend shoots her during 911 call

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 12:56 AM CST
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV/Gray News) - An Iowa man is facing murder charges after police say he fatally shot his girlfriend while she was on the phone with 911 dispatchers.

Police responded to a 911 domestic disturbance call around 9:30 p.m. Saturday in Sioux City, Iowa. The caller, 31-year-old Sarah Zoelle, pleaded for help. She said her boyfriend, 23-year-old Austyn Self, had pointed a gun at her multiple times, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states the 911 dispatcher heard what sounded like a gunshot several minutes into the call and the victim screaming.

According to the affidavit, Self picked up the phone and said, “I shot her.”

When police arrived at the home, they found Zoelle suffering from a gunshot injury to her abdomen. She was holding a 6-month-old baby in her arms, the affidavit says. Zoelle later died at the hospital, KTIV reports.

Self was booked into jail on charges of first-degree murder and three counts of child endangerment.

The affidavit states that in addition to the baby, two other children, ages 4 and 5, were in the home at the time of the shooting. None of the children were harmed. They have been placed in the custody of family members.

Police are unsure what may have been the motive in the incident. But officers say that during the investigation, they learned Self had said multiple times that “if anyone comes in between him and his kids, he will kill them,” according to the affidavit.