Mobile AL Feb 21 2018 A Mobile, Alabama police officer was fatally shot in a confrontation with a murder suspect Tuesday night.
Officer Justin Billa approached Robert Hollie in the area of Crawford Lane and Avondale Court near Martin Luther King Avenue when the shooting occurred, according to WALA-TV.
Billa was wounded and rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators said Hollie killed his ex-wife, Fonda Poellnitz, earlier that night near her home on West Ridge Road. After shooting the officer, he barricaded himself in his home on Avondale Court.
SWAT officers surrounded the residence and Hollie began firing more rounds at them.
Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said his officers returned fire and around three hours later, police found Hollie dead inside the house. It is unknown if Hollie’s wounds were self-inflicted or by the shots fired by police.
Billa joined the Mobile Police Department in January 2016 and was named Officer of the Month in June 2016.
WALA-TV interviewed Billa that year about making building relationships in the community.
“We need to go back to helping people instead of just taking them to jail and creating bigger problems,” he said. “That’s my ideal of good policing and I feel like that’s what the chief is working towards.”
Billa leaves behind a wife and a one-year-old son.
Funeral arrangements are pending.