Alabama officer killed, suspect found dead after standoff

Justin Billa | Photo: MGN Online

An hour long standoff in Alabama ended with both the suspect and a police officer dead.

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 10:59 AM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 11:03 AM

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An hourslong standoff in Alabama ended with both the suspect and a police officer dead.

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste told news outlets early Wednesday that Officer Justin Billa was shot Tuesday night and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

Earlier Tuesday evening, officers responding to a report of a person hit had found Fonda Poellnitz dead. Police identified her ex-husband, Robert Hollie, as a person of interest and set up a perimeter around his Toulminville home. Battiste said officers called upon him to come out, but Hollie instead opened fire, striking Billa.

At least one officer fired shots at the scene.

Around five hours after Poellnitz's body was found, the standoff ended, with Hollie dead. Battiste said police did not yet know if Hollie died from self-inflicted injuries or from the shots previously fired by police.

Police have not disclosed Poellnitz's probable cause of death. Her daughter, Octavia Poellnitz, had identified Hollie as the likely suspect to WKRG-TV before Battiste spoke to news outlets.

"He didn't love my momma," she said.

Battiste said police plan to provide an update around midday Wednesday. He didn't offer much information on Billa, saying he still needed to visit the University of South Alabama Medical and speak with Billa's wife.

Billa joined the force in January 2016, according to the Mobile Police Department's website. He was named the department's officer of the month that June, winning a commendation for investigating complaints of robberies committed by a man whom he later arrested. The announcement of his award cited Billa's attention to detail and commitment, per his commanding officer.

In July 2017, Billa was interviewed by WALA-TV for a segment on the police force's relationship with community members. He spoke about his intentions as a police officer and goals for the force as a whole.

"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 toward."

As WALA-TV reporter Rudy Harper introduced the officer, he noted that Billa was "just six months into the job, a job he wants to do for the rest of his life."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312712

Reported Deaths: 7223
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21445257
Hinds20264414
Harrison17785308
Rankin13548278
Jackson13401246
Madison10055217
Lee9959173
Jones8361163
Forrest7638152
Lauderdale7191240
Lowndes6361144
Lamar620686
Lafayette6164118
Washington5318133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460698
Panola4550105
Pearl River4493145
Marshall4393103
Warren4371121
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408876
Neshoba4022176
Lincoln3944110
Hancock376886
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335590
Tate332084
Pike3290105
Scott314973
Alcorn311268
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299277
Copiah296065
Coahoma293979
Simpson293888
Tippah287468
Prentiss278960
Marion268780
Leake265573
Wayne262241
Adams261882
Grenada260085
Covington256281
George246748
Newton246161
Winston226881
Tishomingo225467
Jasper220748
Attala214173
Chickasaw206957
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181833
Clarke177879
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169732
Yalobusha162936
Smith162134
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125838
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102230
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95328
Franklin83423
Quitman79916
Choctaw76018
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 529446

Reported Deaths: 10930
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763031516
Mobile40850804
Madison34622501
Tuscaloosa25701451
Montgomery24289585
Shelby23367247
Baldwin21035307
Lee15822169
Calhoun14469313
Morgan14266279
Etowah13806352
Marshall12185222
Houston10533280
Elmore10029205
Limestone9948150
Cullman9640193
St. Clair9589239
Lauderdale9407239
DeKalb8814185
Talladega8199175
Walker7214277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6801111
Blount6635136
Colbert6288134
Coffee5498117
Dale4820111
Russell438438
Chilton4258111
Franklin424782
Covington4111117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia393076
Chambers3555123
Dallas3543151
Clarke350661
Marion3105100
Pike310177
Lawrence299798
Winston273672
Bibb260463
Marengo249064
Geneva247676
Pickens233659
Barbour230756
Hale222276
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184145
Randolph179241
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158850
Clay155156
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148341
Lamar141534
Lowndes138553
Wilcox126729
Bullock122941
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa106928
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 66°
Columbus
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
Oxford
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 64°
Starkville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 64°
We can expect plentiful sunshine Thursday with nice, warm temperatures. But going into the late afternoon and early evening, a brief disturbance could bring a quick round of showers and perhaps a thunderstorm through the area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather