Mobile Police officer shot and killed

A Mobile Police officer was shot and killed Tuesday night in Toulminville.Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battist...

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 8:13 AM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 8:13 AM

A Mobile Police officer was shot and killed Tuesday night in Toulminville.

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said Officer Justin Billa was shot as he approached a murder suspect in the area of Crawford Lane and Avondale Court near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

Police said the killer, identified as Robert Hollie, 72, killed his ex-wife, Fonda Poellnitz, 58, earlier Tuesday night near her home on West Ridge Road. Poellnitz's daughter said Hollie lived in a house on Avondale Court and that's where he encountered the police officer.

Minutes after Officer Billa was shot, Mobile Police officers surrounded the home and Hollie started firing more shot at them. Chief Battiste said his officers returned fire. About three hours later, police found Hollie dead inside the house.

Billa joined the Mobile Police Department in January 2016. He was named Officer of the Month in June 2016.

FOX10 News interviewed Billa the following month about making a difference and building relationships in the community.

"We need to go back to helping people instead of just taking them to jail and creating bigger problems," Officer Billa said in July 2016. "That's my ideal of good policing and I feel like that's what the chief is working towards."

During that interview, Billa also told FOX10 News that he shares a moment with his wife every day before he goes to work.

"She tells me she loves me every day before I leave for work. And I make sure I do the same."

Officer Justin Billa leaves behind a wife and a 1-year-old son.

Wednesday morning, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson issued the following statement: "Today we mourn the loss of Officer Justin Billa who was killed last night while responding to a call for service. Officer Billa had been with the Mobile Police Department since 2016 and served our citizens with honor and distinction during that time. Officer Billa's death affects more than just the Mobile Police Department. The death of a first responder in the line of duty is a loss that affects the entire city. This morning we grieve for the family and friends of Officer Billa who have lost a father, a son, a husband and a trusted colleague. I offer my prayers in addition to the full support of the city as we deal with this tragedy."

Also, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement. The governor said:

"Alabama is mourning the loss of one of our own Mobile Police Officer Justin Billa who was killed in the line of duty. My prayers are with his wife, young child and the city of Mobile."

Ivey ordered flags across Alabama to be displayed at half-staff to honor Billa's life and sacrifice.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 46°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 50°
Oxford
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 40°
Starkville
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 50°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather