WEST VALLEY CITY — A man was arrested after an unarmed code enforcement officer was fatally shot and a car and West Valley home were set on fire Thursday morning, police said.
Kevin Wayne Billings, 64, was booked into Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; aggravated murder, also a first-degree felony; and arson, a second-degree felony, according to a tweet from the West Valley Police Department.
The female code enforcement officer was conducting a routine check at a house located at 4102 Wendy Ave. about 10:20 a.m. when she was shot and killed, according to West Valley City Police Chief Matt Elson.
The code enforcement officer was later identified as 52-year-old Jill Robinson, according to West Valley City Councilman Steve Buhler. She had worked with the department for at least 10 years, Buhler said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
UPDATE: West Valley City deputy police chief Matt Elson says code enforcement officer was shot and killed today. Her vehicle was also burned. Suspect was arrested. @KSL5TV@KSLcom@kslnewsradiopic.twitter.com/PGQBhOuygR— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) August 9, 2018
Buhler did not know why Robinson was at the house.
Robinson was on-duty when the shooting took place, West Valley City Code Enforcement spokesman Sam Johnson said.
"(Robinson) was a terrific woman who worked hard and made our city proud," Johnson said.
West Valley City officials offered their condolences for Robinson's death on Twitter.
"We are shocked and heartbroken by the death of Code Enforcement Officer Jill Robinson," city officials said. "Jill worked for WVC for more than ten years, and was a trusted colleague, a loving aunt, a proud mother, and a doting grandmother."
Robinson's vehicle and a neighboring house at 4112 Wendy Ave. were set on fire shortly after she was shot, Elson said.
Police saw the smoke and responded to the fire where they realized someone had been shot and killed. They confronted Billings, who they believe lives at the house where Robinson was conducting her check, and took him into custody without incident after pointing their weapons at him, Elson said.
BREAKING: Police are responding to reports of shots fired at a burning home near 4100 Wendy Ave. in West Valley City. Neighbors report seeing explosions at the home. (Video: Jeff Peterson) LIVE REPORT on @KSL5TV News at Noon. @KSLcom@kslnewsradiopic.twitter.com/q0N0verj0r— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) August 9, 2018
Police believe there are no more outstanding persons in the case and do not believe there is any danger to the public.
Code enforcement officers routinely visit houses throughout the day, and they come in contact with many different kinds of people, Johnson said. They are not part of the police department, he added.
The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating the incident because of a possible conflict of interest since Robinson is an employee of West Valley City, Vainuku said.
Police are still unsure how both the car and house fire were started and are still investigating the incident, Elson said. The house fire was extinguished just after 11:45 a.m. Part of the two-story residence and an outbuilding were burned, police said.
Roads in the area were closed at 4060 West and 2090 South but later were reopened.
Contributing: Jacob Klopfenstein