National News

Fallen hero's son sent 'goodnight kisses' before officer sacrificed his life

Posted February 23, 2018 12:47 p.m. EST

— With his sacrifice, people across the country are reaching out to Officer Justin Billa's loved ones to offer support and prayers.

Everyone remembers Billa as a respected and passionate police officer. Now, we're learning more about the type of man he was off duty.

His wife, Erin Billa, describes him as her soul mate. She wanted us to share the videos and message you're about to see. She also tells us she is going to work hard every day to make sure their son knows his father was a hero.

Video of one-year-old Taylor giving goodnight kisses was sent to his father Tuesday night -- just a few hours before he responded to the call that changed the family's life forever. Officer Billa was shot for doing his job and died protecting the community. The entire city of Mobile turned blue for this fallen hero.

In an interview with FOX10 News two years ago, Officer Billa spoke of his love for his wife, Erin. The two had known each other since they were children. Erin sent us a photo of the two dancing together when they were just five-years-old.

Videos taken over the years paint the young officer as a loving father and family man -- proving that behind every strong police officer is an even stronger family who supports them.

The video sent to him on Tuesday night was just one example of the inspiration Billa had to serve and protect.

Erin Billa sent this personal message to FOX10 News to share:

"Justin was an amazing husband, father and officer. He was truly my best friend in this world. There wasn't a day that we didn't kiss each other goodbye and told each other we loved each other before either of us left. He was the best daddy to Taylor and my heart hurts that Taylor won't get to grow up with his daddy. But I will make sure that he knows exactly the hero, father and husband that Justin was. Justin loved his job so very much. He was my hero long before he became an officer but now he is truly a hero to everyone. Justin and I actually have known each other since we were 5 and the day I saw him I thought man what a cutie. He lived in Louisiana but moved back here and we instantly connected. I knew after a few months he was the one I was going to marry. We had so many plans for the future and my heart breaks that we won't be able to do them together now. I am going live my life honoring and respecting him because he was my soul mate. I don't even know if this message makes sense or not and I have so much more to say but I don't even know where to begin." -- Erin Elizabeth Billa

To find the information on Officer Billa's funeral arrangements, visit: http://www.fox10tv.com/story/37570916/funeral-arrangements-set-for-officer-justin-billa

To donate to his official memorial fund, visit: https://www.mobilepd.org/memorial-fund/