Leilani Billingsley's mother says she had no idea her daughter's boyfriend was capable of such violence, saying, "I feel like I failed my baby"

By Elaine Aradillas
May 13, 2021 04:14 PM
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Leilani Billingsley
Credit: GoFundMe

The mother of a Georgia woman who was fatally shot by her boyfriend at her place of work before the man turned the gun on himself expressed her heartbreak online — and urged others to be more aware of domestic violence.

"This was so unexpected for our family," wrote Alyson-Renee Johnson, the mother of slain 27-year-old Leilani Billingsley, on a GoFundMe page for her daughter. "I'm asking all if that you or your daughter is in a bad situation please help them."

On Monday, at about 11 a.m. Paul Sullivan, 38, assaulted Billingsley, the mother of a 6-year-old girl, before he killed her and then himself, Cobb police said, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Police said the incident occurred in the rear parking lot of the Riverside EpiCenter, where Billingsley and Sullivan were found dead from gunshot wounds, the paper reported.

"Based on eyewitnesses and video information obtained by detectives at the scene, it was determined that Mr. Sullivan had physically assaulted Ms. Billingsley before shooting her," Cobb police spokesman Sgt. Wayne Delk said in an emailed statement to the paper. "He then turned the handgun on himself and shot himself."

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Billingsley's mother told the paper she never thought Sullivan would hurt her daughter.

"I knew they bickered a lot, but that was it," Johnson told the paper about her daughter.

In Johnson's post on the fundraising site, she states her world has been turned upside-down from the deadly incident.

"I feel like I failed my baby," she wrote. "She was my best friend, my rock. She taught me what being a mother was all about."

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.