Family Figuring Out Next Steps After Their Home Burns in West Valley City Arson, Murder Case
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A West Valley City family is figuring out what’s next after their home was destroyed in what police say was an arson.
Ryan Luke and Stephanie Sheen’s home burned after police said their neighbor, Kevin Billings, shot and killed West Valley City code enforcement officer Jill Robinson, set fire to her truck, then set fire to Luke and Sheen’s back deck.
Luke said he was inside his house on a conference call late Thursday morning when he heard a noise outside.
“It was just a bang. Could have been a tire blowout. It was not that distinct,” Luke said.
Within 20 minutes, Luke said he felt the pressure change in his home and the fire alarms started to sound. When he got outside, he realized what was happening.
“The whole back window’s blown out and fire’s going crazy back there,” he said.
Police did not say what brought Robinson to Billings’ house Thursday, but a probable-cause statement said the two had “previous dealings”. They said Robinson was shot at least once. A neighbor reported seeing Billings pour out gasoline around Robinson’s truck, then igniting it.
Sheri Zini lives across the street and said she approached Billings.
“I said, ‘Kevin, what in the hell have you done? What have you done and why? Why?’ The only thing that he said to me was, ‘I’ve had 40 years of harassment, and that’s it’,” Zini said.
According to the probable-cause statement, a neighbor told police Billings said Robinson “got what she deserved”.
“How disturbing is that? That someone could do that, and then just be like, ‘They got what they deserved’. None of us deserved any of this,” Sheen said.
Sheen said Billings had recently confronted her in a driveway, saying he believed she had reported him to the city.
“He said, ‘Well, it’s just caused me a lot of problems’ and I said, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, but I truly didn’t do anything,’,” Sheen said.
Sheen and Luke said five dogs and a cat in their home died in the fire.
“They were my kids. Each one of them was special. Each one of them was so loved. They’re going to be missed,” Sheen said.
“They’re my babies. All my children are dead,” Ryan said.
Sheen is a veterinarian at Animal Care Center. Colleagues there started an online fundraiser for her and Luke that has raised more than $8,800 dollars. (https://www.gofundme.com/drstephandryanrebuild)
Billings was arrested for investigation of aggravated murder, aggravated arson, and arson.