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Survivor living in fear after rash of rural shootings

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CLINTON - The sole survivor in a rash of shootings says he now lives in fear for himself, his family and his community. 

"Its becoming more and more real each time. I don't understand, it's just hard to take in that this is happening in our community."

The man is still in a state of shock when asked about the night he was shot while walking along his property. It's been one month since he was shot, and three others are now dead after similar shootings near the East Baton Rouge-East Feliciana Parish line.

The most recent happened Monday afternoon. Brad Defranceschi, 48, was found gunned down on his property off Highway 63, southeast of Clinton. Previous shootings were in the Bluff Creek, Port Hudson-Pride Road and Hwy. 960 areas.

"I lived up there all my life and I've never heard of a murder on that road or that vicinity in 46 years," he said. "I don't think it's going to get better before it gets worse."

In a news conference Monday, shortly after Defranceshi was killed, investigators said it was too early to label the shootings a 'serial-killer' scenario. 

"We are not using (the term 'serial-killer') right now," East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said.  "We're approaching this with a total open mind, knowing very well that this could be anywhere in the spectrum."

However, the surviving victim asks his community to remain vigilant in the wake of the violence. 

"Be aware of your surroundings and do everything you can do to protect yourself and your family. You know, you just gotta be aware of what's going on, because it's the real deal, it's not a game. It's serious business."


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