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WEST VALLEY CITY — A man who police allege shot and killed a West Valley City code enforcement officer Thursday morning had “previous dealings” with the officer prior to the shooting, according to a police affidavit.
Kevin Wayne Billings, 64, of West Valley City, was arrested and booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; aggravated murder, also a first-degree felony; and arson, a second-degree felony. He is accused by police of shooting and killing Jill Robinson, 52, before lighting her truck and his neighbor’s home on fire.
Robinson had worked as a city code enforcement officer for more than a decade, according to West Valley City officials.
Emergency crews responded to a report of a fire at Billings’ home, located at 4102 W. Wendy Ave., about 10:20 a.m., West Valley City Police Chief Matt Elson said. When they arrived, they found Robinson dead in the driveway of the home with at least one gunshot wound, a police affidavit stated.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Robinson was at the home Thursday; however, Robinson had dealt with Billings previously “regarding code enforcement issues at his residence,” according to a police affidavit.
A witness told police they saw Billings pour what they believed was gasoline over the code enforcement officer’s truck before lighting it on fire. Other witnesses told police they saw Billings in the driveway of his home while a neighboring house and the code enforcement truck burned, the report stated.
Another witness told police Billings said Robinson “got what she deserved” after “40 years of harassment,” according to the police affidavit.
Billings’ neighbor's house at 4114 W Wendy Ave. was “fully engulfed” by the time firefighters arrived on scene. The homeowner told police he heard what he believed were gunshots, followed by an explosion coming from the basement of his home, the report stated. He was inside a detached garage on his property at the time the fire started and told officers he believed his home was targeted by Billings, according to the affidavit.
The bodies of two dogs were found in the home after the fires were extinguished, according to West Valley City Police Spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku. Fire officials were told that there were more animals in the home, but were not able to search the rest of the building because it was structurally compromised, Vainuku said.
The occupants of the house, Steph Sheen and Ryan Luke, had six dogs and two cats in the house, Dr. Pam Nichols, with the Utah Animal Care Center, said in a statement posted to Facebook. Sheen is employed with the Utah Animal Care Center as a veterinarian, according to the company's website.
"Animal Care Center is deeply saddened by the tragic events surrounding the house fire in West Valley City and send our sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased," Animal Care Center officials said on Facebook. "We are grateful that our own Dr. Steph and her husband survived the fire at their home."
A GoFundMe page* has been set up to benefit Sheen and Luke, according to Nichols.
After the fires were extinguished, police executed a search warrant of Billings’ home, where “several items” were found between his home and his neighbor’s house. Detectives found “an assault-style rifle, a handgun, bolt cutters, a propane torch and gas containers,” the report stated.
Detectives also said they found a “large hole cut in the fence” between the two homes.
Court records show Billings was charged with having an accumulation of solid waste and five other class B misdemeanor front yard regulations in 1997. Those charges were dismissed without prejudice in 2001.
In addition to the code enforcement violations, court records show Billings had only traffic-related offenses prior to Thursday.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.