After a code enforcement officer came to Kevin Wayne Billings’ house in West Valley City, Utah, police say, the man proclaimed that the officer “got what she deserved.”
The 64-year-old man was arrested and charged with first-degree felony aggravated murder and first-degree aggravated arson on Thursday, according to Fox13. Police say Billings shot and killed Jill Robinson, a 10-year employee for West Valley City, and then set her truck and a neighbor’s house on fire.
Just before the fire started at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, neighbor Lanette Perkins heard a “big old boom,” she told News4Utah.
“A few minutes later I heard people screaming and I was like ‘Oh my god’, someone got shot,” she told the TV station. “And I look outside and the truck was in flames.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Police told The Salt Lake City Tribune that Billings shot and killed Robinson, who does not carry firearms as a part of her job.
Brittan Keane, a neighbor, described the frightening scene in an interview with the Deseret News.
“He came across and walked behind the truck, and I was like, ‘He’s going to get burned, oh my gosh, oh my gosh’ — pulls out a gun and shoots her,” he said.
A police report says that after attacking the woman, dousing her truck in gasoline and lighting it on fire, Billings went through a “large hole” in a fence between his yard and his neighbors’ house — and then set their backyard ablaze, according to the Deseret News. Pam Nichols, a spokeswoman for the family, said the homeowners survived, but all eight of their pets died as the fire destroyed their house.
In an interview with Fox13, Nichols said that the loss of the six dogs and two cats came at particularly rough time for the woman who lived there.
“I think she’s just in shock,” she told the TV station. “She lost her first dog of her entire life just a few weeks ago, and she’s been a veterinarian for a long time. She had a soft spot for little old Dachshunds. It’s just so sad.”
Nichols said that Billings had recently said that the homeowners reported him to the city for a code violation, according to the Deseret News, and began to yell at them.
As he stood in his driveway, Billings said that Robinson “got what she deserved,” police told the Deseret News. He was later arrested in his driveway.
Steve Buhler, the mayor pro tem, mourned the loss of the 52-year-old woman with a “great smile.”
“She was very involved in her job and had creative ways of doing her job and interacting with the people of West Valley which she served,” he told The Salt Lake City Tribune. “And she was a tremendous softball enthusiast.”
West Valley City spokesman Sam Johnson described her as a “terrific person.”
“She was always very friendly,” he told Fox13, “always quick to smile and wave at you.”
West Valley City grieved about Robinson’s passing in a tweet.