What I saw…

The videos from the surveillance cameras from the Billings’ residence are haunting. The 16 cameras captured both the inside and outside of the home while the seven intruders drove onto the property and five masked men stormed into the house.

The cameras caught on tape everything but the actual murders. The reporters that viewed the videos today saw the five intruders break into house, shoot Bud Billings in the leg and terrorize him and Melanie Billings. We also saw the children sleeping and playing in their rooms, as well as the now infamous red van drive on and off the property.

The intruders were deliberate and well organized. There was no hesitation or any sense that the men didn’t know what they were doing.

Bud and Melanie Billings both approached the front door when three men kicked it in. Both had their hands up in the air, when a masked man, who the suspects have identified as Patrick Gonzalez, shot Bud Billings in the calf, causing to him fall to the floor.

Gonzalez shot him from the hallway by the kitchen, within in seconds of coming in view of the camera. One intruder with a rifle stayed in the hallway. Gonzalez and another stood over Billings. Gonzalez pressed his pistol to back of Billing’s head. The fourth and fifth intruders guarded Melanie Billings – only one could be seen from the camera.

A few steps away, Jacob “Jake” Billing, their 10-year-old Down Syndrome son, sat stunned on a coffee table, completely ignored by the intruders. Bud and Melanie are dragged out of the view of the camera into the nearby master bedroom. Jake, who is fully dressed in t-shirt, shorts and shoes, remains frozen on the coffee table.

At one point, Melanie comes back into the living room and hugs Jake. Bud also appears and both are taken back to the bedroom. We don’t see them again.

Jake panics and starts wandering back and forth from the coffee table, the door of the master bedroom and the kitchen. The video is grainy and it’s difficult to see any facial expressions, but he appears to be in shock. The intruders thankfully continue to ignore him.

The other cameras in the house capture the other eight children sleeping or playing in their bedrooms. There is one particularly haunting video captured on Camera 15. It’s a scene that could have been part of a horror or suspense movie.

A young girl is sleeping in her upstairs bedroom. You can see the red van drive up and park outside her window. As the young girl hears gunshots, she runs to her door and back to her bed. She sits up clearly frightened and uncertain what to do. For the next couple minutes, she runs back forth from bed to the door. Each time she reaches her bed, she crawls under the covers. When the van drives off, she watches from her window. Then she crawls back into her bed, pulls up the covers and doesn’t move again until the deputies enter the house.

The videos of the children ripped my heart. No child should ever have to experience such horror. The home and their bedrooms should be sanctuaries. The video from the living room that showed Bud Billings being shot and the couple being terrorized made me angry. This couple did not have to be shot for the intruders to complete the robbery.

Someone wanted these people dead.