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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: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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