Police officer Justin Billa was fatally shot on Tuesday during a standoff with the “person of interest,” identified as Robert Hollie, in an alleged murder of an Alabama woman. The victim of the case, Fonda Poellnitz, was found dead in the middle of the West Ridge Road in Mobile.

Billa and a group of other officers in the SWAT team were trying to establish a perimeter around a home in the Toulminville neighborhood associated with Hollie, the victim’s ex-husband when the incident happened, New York Daily News reported. 

Billa was fatally shot on Avondale Court and Crawford Lane soon after the standoff started around 12:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. EST). He was rushed to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Billa's age was not mentioned by police. He is survived by his wife and a one-year-old son.

The news of Billa’s death was announced by Mobile police Chief Lawrence Battiste, who gave out details about the standoff before excusing himself to speak to the fallen officer’s wife.

After joining the task force in January, it did not take long for Billa to gain recognition in his department. He was named Mobile police officer of the month in June 2016, after he successfully investigated a string of robberies on North Ann Street.

“Additionally, Billa made two felony and 17 misdemeanor arrests for the month. He responded to 135 calls for service and 11 backups, and wrote 17 citations,” according to Mobile Police Department website.

The website went on to add that “according to his commanding officer, Billa has great attention to detail skills and shows commitment daily to providing a professional level of law enforcement service to the city of Mobile.”

Following the announcement of his achievement, Billa was honored at the Officer of the Month luncheon, held in Azalea Golf Course Club, and sponsored by Midtown Optimist Club in June 2016.

At the time, Billa’s commanding officer said he had "great attention to detail skills and shows commitment daily to providing a professional level of law enforcement service to the city of Mobile."

In a 2016 interview with Fox-affiliated WALA-TV, Billa talked about his idea of policing and reducing the rate of crimes in the community.

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

After Billa’s death was announced, several officers present outside the medical facility were seen embracing and consoling each other.

Hollie, who killed Billa and barricaded himself inside his house, also died in the standoff, which lasted for more than two hours. It was not immediately clear if the suspect died of his own self-inflicted wounds or he was shot by one of the officers, who returned fire during the standoff.

Octavia Poellnitz, Hollie and Fonda’s daughter, was distraught after hearing the news of her mother’s death.

“Why would you do that to my momma,” she said, lashing out at her father. “You shot my momma. You beat my momma and pushed her out her car and left her in the middle of the street.”

Octavia said that her parents had a volatile relationship making it explicitly clear that her father did not love her mother. “Love is blind,” she added.