CHESTER, Va. – On Wednesday Amanda Billings was headed to see her two children – ages four and two -- and bake cookies with them at her mother-in-law’s house when she ran into a road block. Her children were just six doors down from a home surrounded by police, as they tried to subdue a man who had earlier fired shots at officers.
When Chesterfield Police officers responded to a call for a suicidal man just off River's Bend Parkway, they found a woman in the driveway. Interim Police Chief Lt. Col. Dan Kelly said the man in house began to fire at his officers when they were talking to the woman, and they returned fire.
The man, identified as Kenneth J. Perna-Rutsky, 38, went back inside the home and the cops descended on the neighborhood.
“We heard four gunshots, next thing we know we counted over 44 Chesterfield cops pull up,” said Garrett Fullen, who was doing some electrical work near the house.
The scene lasted for about two hours while police established a perimeter around the home and tried to make contact with the shooter.
Billings waited nearby, and told her kids to keep low to the ground inside their grandmother’s home.
"It's very nerve racking,” Billings said. “This is terrifying to not be able to get to your children and make sure they are okay.”
“We were able to approach house with SWAT team members and hostage negotiation team and we were able to locate a person lying on the floor of the home as we looked through windows with cameras,” Lt. Col. Kelly said.
Police determined that Perna-Rutsky was killed by a bullet fired from a Chesterfield officer's gun.
There are numerous businesses nearby, many which closed as the officers directed resources to the back of the Food Lion parking lot. Officers could be seen going up a grassy knoll in full tactical gear.
Many neighbors either headed out or arrived home to find multiple roads blocked by heavily armed officers.
"It was scary, because it was confusing -- because I had never seen it before,” said resident Sarah Pratt. "It's a quiet neighborhood, not many things, you can see how quiet it is around here."
She stayed far away until the events transpired, and it was safe to return.
The relationship between Perna-Rutsky and the woman police found in the driveway is unknown at the time.
Anyone with information should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or through the P3 app.