Skip to main Content
Crime & Courts

Suspect arrested in 'drug-related’ Kenai double homicide, police say

Kenai police say they arrested the suspect in a double homicide late Tuesday, nearly three days after the shootings early Sunday that killed a mother and daughter.

The crime was apparently drug-related, Kenai Police Department Chief David Ross said Wednesday. He declined to elaborate or say what kind of drugs were involved.

Masonn Byrd, a 25-year-old Kenai resident, was arrested “without incident” Tuesday night, according to an update Wednesday morning from the Kenai Police Department.

Lisa M. Rutzebeck, 39, and Rachelle M. Armstrong, 60, died in the shootings in a home on California Avenue off the Kenai Spur Highway. Police have said they believe the women knew their assailant.

Rutzebeck and Armstrong lived together in the apartment where the killings occurred, Ross said. Someone heard gunshots in the apartment and called 911.

The chief declined to answer questions about whether Byrd came to the apartment with an intent to shoot the women, whether anyone else was in the apartment at the time, or whether investigators are still looking for other suspects.

Byrd, a former Kenai Central High School football player, has a criminal record that includes convictions in 2013 in Anchorage for resisting arrest and 2015 in Kenai for criminal mischief, as well as an ongoing DUI case for an arrest in January in Soldotna. The most serious conviction against him involved a 2016 assault during which he fired a gun at a dwelling, according to a state courts database.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.