Surveillance video captures puppy store arson - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Surveillance video captures puppy store arson

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Surveillance still from a fire at the Prince and Princess Puppy and Boutique store on Jan. 27. (FOX5) Surveillance still from a fire at the Prince and Princess Puppy and Boutique store on Jan. 27. (FOX5)
Kirk Bills (left) and Gloria Lee listen to proceedings during a hearing in a Las Vegas courtroom in these undated images. (File/FOX5) Kirk Bills (left) and Gloria Lee listen to proceedings during a hearing in a Las Vegas courtroom in these undated images. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

FOX5 on Tuesday obtained surveillance video that captured people setting fire to the Prince and Princess Puppies and Boutique store on South Rainbow in Las Vegas on Jan. 27.

In all, the surveillance video consists of eight cameras, each of which captured a different angle of the store during a 24-minute period.

One of the cameras clearly shows someone dressed in what appears to be a hooded sweatshirt pouring a liquid on the floor of the store before flames erupt throughout the sales floor, which includes several animal cages. 

After a few moments, the sprinklers douse the flames.

Another camera captured a woman and a man in a black hooded sweatshirt in what appears to be an office or storage area with several animal cages. The person in the sweatshirt is seen carrying two small gas containers.

Investigators said owner, Gloria Lee, 35, and Kirk Bills, 27, are responsible for dousing the inside of the store with gasoline and setting it on fire.

Lee and Bills have since been taken into custody and charged. Lee has pleaded not guilty to setting the fire.

When FOX5 legal analyst Bob Massi viewed portions of the surveillance video, he said it is damaging.

"This is one of those cases where a picture's worth a thousand words - I mean, if you can identify the parties there," Massi said.

Though the video appears to depict Lee, the accomplice's face remains obscured throughout. Massi said that with arson, insurance money is the most common motive.

Massi said that if Lee held the insurance policy, she had motive and intent, which could make her accomplice turn on her.

"In a situation like this, if the forensics aren't there against him in direct evidence, maybe he'll snitch on her, and that will be the target, it will be her," Massi said.

A witness testified before a grand jury that Lee claimed three men held her at gunpoint and forced her inside the store that night. Massi said that story likely won't hold up.

"You can see they're walking around very nonchalant, very voluntary in their own actions," Massi said.

Massi said that while the video could be used to negotiate a plea deal, the high public interest will likely push the case to trial.

Massi further said that if the case goes to trial, the defense will have to challenge the video, questioning its authenticity or whether it's been edited in any way, for instance.

Twenty-seven dogs, all but three of which are puppies, were rescued from the fire after sprinklers doused the blaze.

Those animals have been housed at the Animal Foundation since the fire, prompting a legal tug-of-war concerning how they will be adopted out.

Both Lee and Bills are being held at the Clark County Detention Center on charges of arson, conspiracy, burglary and attempted animal cruelty. Bail was set at $310,000 for each.

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