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Ivey asks for flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of slain Mobile Police Officer Justin Billa

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Following the killing of a Mobile Police Officer on Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey is asking that all flags be flown at half-staff.

“I am directing flags to be displayed at half-staff in honor of Mobile Police Officer Justin Billa who was killed in the line of duty,” Ivey said. “Officer Billa was shot Tuesday night while trying to apprehend a murder suspect. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow officers as we honor the life of this true hero.”

Ivey said that the flags should remain lowered until sunset on the day of internment.

Officer Billa was shot and killed in the line of duty, leaving behind a wife and an infant son.

“Having been a law enforcement officer for more than 20 years, I know the dangers faced by our first responders,” Speaker of the House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said. “The death of Officer Justin Billa should be a reminder to every citizen of this state of a debt that can never be repaid. My wife Debbie and I, as well as the entire membership of the Alabama House of Representatives, offer our sincere sympathy to his family and pray that God will comfort them in the days to come.”

Billa had served on the force for just two years, but had already earned “officer of the month” honors in June 2016.

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Murder suspect, Robert Hollie, had barricaded himself in his house. Billa and other officers were attempting to surround Hollie’s home when Hollie opened fire on the police, killing officer Billa.

The whole incident began when police found Hollie’s ex-wife dead in the middle of a road.

After 2 hours of standoff with SWAT officers, Hollie was killed. It is unclear at this time whether Hollie was killed by police or if he killed himself.

Mobile Police Department Chief Lawrence Battiste told the Alabama Media Group that Billa had, “great attention to detail skills and shows commitment daily to providing a professional level of law enforcement service to the city of Mobile.”

(Original reporting by Fox News and the Alabama Media Group contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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