State's flags at half-staff for slain Mobile cop

Mobile Officer Justin Billa was killed in the line of duty Tuesday evening. (Mobile PD)
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(AL.com) — Flags across Alabama are flying at half-staff in honor of fallen Mobile Police Officer Justin Billa, and Mobile officials are directing interested donors to a memorial fund.

Billa was fatally injured late Tuesday evening as police closed in on a man suspected of killing his ex-wife. Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said Wednesday that Billa had been among officers working to establish a perimeter around the home of Robert Hollie when Hollie opened fire, hitting Billa. Battiste said that when officers later entered the home after a standoff, they found Hollie dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted wound. An investigation is ongoing, he said.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson first called for flags on city property to be flown at half-staff. The decree for all state agencies to lower flags came from Gov. Kay Ivey, who said via Twitter that "My prayers are with his wife, young child and the city of Mobile."

Ivey's proclamation calls for flags to be displayed at half-staff "as we honor the life of this true hero." They are to remain lowered "until sunset on the day of his internment."

Battiste expressed thanks for an outpouring of public support, and directed donors to an official memorial fund. "Please consider this the official place to make a contribution," the chief said, saying he didn't want any potential scam fundraisers to have a chance to take root.

Donations can be sent to the to the attention of Cheryl Kirkland at the Mobile Law Enforcement Foundation, 2460 Government Blvd., Mobile AL 36606. For more information, call 251-208-1910.

Donations can be made online at https://www.mobilepd.org/memorial-fund/.

More on this story at AL.com.
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