HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - "He was an amazing father…an amazing spouse."
Those words from the wife of 33-year-old Jonathan Michael "Mike" Gilotti, shot and killed outside his front door this morning in Hoover's Lake Cyrus neighborhood.
Mrs. Gilotti, who asked that she not be fully identified due to the current circumstances, spent time on Tuesday sharing photographs of her husband. He planned to take the day off from work next Monday to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary.
The couple, who met while "jumping out of helicopters" at air assault school in Hawaii, were raising two young sons, age 5 and 1, at their Parkside Circle home in Hoover's Lake Cyrus.
His career had brought the family to Birmingham from Jacksonville, FL three years ago. He was a team manager for processors and claims adjusters at State Farm, his wife said.
"He was a standup citizen," she added.
A first lieutenant with the U.S. Army 212 Calvary, he served 15 months in Iraq as a tank commander. He returned from Iraq in December 2007. The couple married a month later.
Mrs. Gilotti proudly shared medals and commendations her husband received while in the Army. Originally from Connecticut, he was based at Fort Bliss along the Texas and New Mexico borders during his military service.
The young widow and mother took time to identify images to publicly honor her husband.
Gilotti, who loved working out and spending time with his sons, left his home shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday when a gunshot was heard. He died outside his front door.
Captain Greg Rector of the Hoover Police Department called the incident "disgusting."
"He's [Mike Gilotti] getting up early in the morning to go to the gym. He's providing for his wife and his kids. Then he encounters some ruthless individual," Rector said during a media briefing. "It's disgusting and it angers us."
Police say it is possible Gilotti walked out of his home during a car break-in. His black SUV was parked in the driveway of his home. Shortly after the 911 call, police discovered 10 overnight car break-ins on Parkside Circle.
Along the street Tuesday, neighbors expressed shock.
"It's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable," neighbor Veamon Sanders said during a walk with his wife.
Police are now urging anyone who may have seen something suspicious in the Lake Cyrus community between 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 to call detectives. Capt. Rector encouraged residents who have video surveillance to check any video of the street or front yard to see if it may help the case.
Anyone who has information can contact Hoover Police at 205-822-5300.