Cobb County Police are investigating an apparent homicide and suicide at a south Cobb convention center that facility operators say left one of their employees dead.
Officers were initially called to investigate a report of shots fired at The Riverside EpiCenter, 135 Riverside Parkway, in Austell at 11:01 a.m. Monday and arrived to find Leilani Billingsley, 27, of Austell, dead in a rear parking area, according to Sgt. Wayne Delk, spokesman for the police department.
Delk said police also found the suspect in the shooting, 38-year-old Paul Sullivan III of Douglasville, dead near Billingsley. Both victim and suspect had been shot.
“Based on eye witnesses and video information obtained by detectives at the scene, it was determined that Mr. Sullivan had physically assaulted Ms. Billingsley before shooting her,” Delk said in a news release. “He then turned the handgun on himself and shot himself.”
Police say the incident appears to be “domestic related.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Cobb County Police Department at 770-499-3945.
In its own release, the Riverside EpiCenter said operators were “saddened to learn of a domestic homicide-suicide” on its grounds. The facility’s general manager said little is known about what happened, and staff are mourning the loss of an employee who the facility said had a “young child.”
Police say Billingsley was the Riverside employee.
“Our hearts go out to the family of our beloved team member, especially the young child. Many of our staff are grieving and our attention now turns to loving and caring for those who remain,” Riverside General Manager Christopher Boyd said in the release. “We pray for all families who deal with domestic issues and hope that they seek help before it is too late.”
The Riverside EpiCenter said it would make no other public statements about the incident “out of respect for the families involved.”
A Gofundme page titled, “Please help lay Leilani Billingsley to rest,” was set up early Tuesday and had collected $1,500 by 5:30 p.m.
The page’s organizer, listed as Alyson-Renee Johnson, wrote that Billingsley was her daughter and had been “murdered by the hands of her boyfriend.”
“This was so unexpected for our family. I’m asking all that if you or your daughter is in a bad situation please help them,” the page description reads. “My life is upside down right now. She was my best friend, my rock. She taught me what being a mother was all about.”