Police: Mom, kids died of gunshot wounds before house fire; dad - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff


Police: Mom, kids died of gunshot wounds before house fire; dad took his own life

Billie Hettinger and the Hettinger children (Source: Facebook) Billie Hettinger and the Hettinger children (Source: Facebook)
Courtney and Collin Hettinger (Source: Facebook) Courtney and Collin Hettinger (Source: Facebook)
Billie Hettinger (Source: Facebook) Billie Hettinger (Source: Facebook)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A mother and her two children, ages 4 and 5, were shot and killed before their house was set on fire near Jeffersontown on Sunday, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department's Homicide Unit. The children's father died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Lt. Todd Kessinger said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

The fire was reported around 3 p.m. Sunday on Saratoga Springs Place. Homicide detectives and Metro Arson were called to the scene in addition to firefighters.

PREVIOUS STORY: 4 dead after arson on Saratoga Springs Place

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office identified the victims as 32-year-old Billie Hettinger, 4-year-old Courtney Hettinger, and 5-year-old Collin Hettinger. Billie's husband Brad Hettinger, 33, carried out the violent acts, police said.

Deputy Coroner Eddie Robinson said all four family members died of gunshot wounds to the head. Billie Hettinger also suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. She was found in the basement. The children were found dead in their beds on the second floor of the home. Brad Hettinger was found on the first floor by firefighters who moved him to the front lawn.

The family attended St. Michael Catholic Church on Stone Lakes Drive in Jeffersontown. The children were enrolled at St. Michael School. Friends at the church said the family attended Palm Sunday Mass earlier in the day on Sunday and that Brad volunteered at the church and was well liked. 

The Archdiocese of Louisville released the following statement on Monday:

"On behalf of the parish and school community of St. Michael, as well as all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Louisville, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Hettinger and Gayheart families on their tragic loss. The parents, Brad and Billie, were parishioners of St. Michael Parish, and the children (Colin in kindergarten and Courtney in the 3-year old preschool program) were students at St. Michael School.

 "St. Michael Parish is focusing on prayer and outreach to the family and to the parish and school 

"Archdiocesan counselors are working with the school counselor to assist teachers and students, and parents have been encouraged to talk with their children about this 

"We ask all to join us in prayers for the Hettinger and Gayheart families and for the repose of the souls of Brad, Billie, Colin, and Courtney."

Church family said Brad Hettinger worked at Humana and Billie, who was originally from Nicholasville, had been a nurse at Baptist Health in Lexington. She currently was working for Baptist Health in Louisville. 

Baptist Health released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to co-workers, family and friends after this tragic loss. Billie Hettinger touched many lives with her kind and caring demeanor, and she will be greatly missed by her Baptist Health Family."

Jeffersontown firefighter Drew Hinton has set up a GoFundMe account to help surviving family pay for funeral costs.

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