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As killer roams free, Baton Rouge neighborhood gripped with fear

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BATON ROUGE- Residents off Goodwood Boulevard in Baton Rouge said they never dreamed they would have to spend their evening hours indoors, terrified about what's lurking outside.

Tuesday, Nessa Hartley, a mother, grandmother and beloved member of the community, was gunned down as she was dropping off a friend on Brookshire Avenue. Her friend's fiance told WBRZ today, a masked man approached the vehicle they were in and opened fire. Hartley died at the scene, and her killer fled.

Baton Rouge Police issued a plea to anyone who has surveillance video around the 8 p.m. time frame of the shooting to release it so they can review it.

One neighbor who was too scared to give her last name said detectives paid her a visit Thursday afternoon.

"The police came into my home and they did look at the video," Susan said. "They were there for some time. I didn't ask any questions, but they are looking at all the videos of all the houses they can find."

The grief weighs heavy on those who routinely would see Nessa in the neighborhood and where she worked. At St. Thomas More Pre-School, Hartley's former co-workers were devastated. They said on the phone she left an indelible mark and everyone was in a state of shock.

Arnell Mcmillin said she will miss Hartley's smiles and friendly waves.

"What did this murderer intend on achieving, besides taking a life?" Mcmillin said.

Mcmillin has lived in Baton Rouge for 55 years and said she has never felt unsafe when it gets dark until now.

"We set our alarm at bedtime or when we leave, now we are setting it at dark of thereabouts," Mcmillin said.

Baton Rouge Police told WBRZ they had nothing new to report Thursday.

Hartley was 57 years old. She was killed one day before her birthday.

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