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Woman gunned down while dropping off friend in quiet Baton Rouge neighborhood

1 year 9 months 5 days ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 January 16, 2019 8:25 AM January 16, 2019 in Crime
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A former school employee was murdered after driving her friend to a usually safe neighborhood Tuesday night.

Police say the shots were fired around 8 p.m. on Brookshire Avenue near Havenwood Drive. Baton Rouge police say Janessa Hartley was dropping off her friend at the time of the encounter. 

After Hartley came to a stop, the gunman reportedly approached the two and tried to open the vehicle. After failing to open the locked door, the person apparently opened fire and struck Hartley.

The shooter then reportedly fled the scene.

A neighbor tells WBRZ he heard two gunshots around the time of the killing. Crime records suggest criminal activity is uncommon in the neighborhood, and he says he's never seen this kind of violence in the area before. 

“I have been here 46 years, and it been safe. It's very unfortunate, and it's an indication of what can happen,” he said.

Staff at St. Thomas More in Baton Rouge say Hartley worked there as a preschool assistant up until about five years ago. They said she left her job to spend more time with her family. Wednesday would have been her 57th birthday.

Police say there are no known suspects nor a clear motive at this time. BRPD is asking that anyone with video from the area on the night of the shooting share it with police.

Anyone with information or video pertaining to the investigation is urged to call police at (225) 389-4869.

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