COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County company is coming together for a candlelight vigil on Thursday after a woman was shot and killed by her boyfriend in the parking lot of her job.
According to the Cobb County Police Department, 27-year-old Leilani Billingsley, of Austell, was killed by 38-year-old Paul Sullivan in the parking lot of the Riverside EpiCenter on Riverside Parkway around 11 a.m. on May 10.
Surveillance video and a witness revealed that the Douglasville man had physically assaulted Billingsley before shooting her and then turning the gun on himself. When police arrived they found Sullivan's body near Billingsley's.
The candlelight vigil is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the same location.
Billingsley’s family, LiveSafe Resources, and the Georgia Commission on Domestic Violence will also be featured at the event. LiveSafe Resources and the Georgia Commission on Domestic Violence are two organizations that focus on combatting domestic violence by providing resources through a "coordinated community response."
A spokesperson for the center said they didn't want Billingsley's memory to end in tragedy.
“This vigil allows us to honor Leilani’s memory, show love to her family, and educate the community on ways to help others impacted by domestic violence. In addition, we will plant ‘Leilani’s Garden’ in front of our building and host future programming to further highlight this issue that affects many in our community," Dr. Christopher Boyd, Riverside EpiCenter General Manager said. “We don’t want the tragedy that took place on May 10th to be the end of Leilaini’s story.”
At the end of the event, 27 balloons will be released to "honor the 27 short years of Billingsley’s life," the press release noted.
The event will also conclude with her favorite treat -- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Governor Brian Kemp signed a new bill the day after Billingsley's death that offers more support for victims who experience dating violence.
House Bill 231 offers a new temporary protective order for those who are abused by their partner.
“House Bill 231 marks a significant step forward in our efforts to end domestic violence," Rep. Houston Gaines said. "This new law will save lives, ensuring that victims have protection against abusive dating partners. I'm extremely proud of HB 231 and so appreciative of the many individuals who worked together to make this a reality.”