BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Sometimes, people can get lost in news and police terms, like "murder-suicide," but in this case, murder-suicide means a young woman who feared for her life did the right thing in getting a restraining order against a man who beat her.
Why didn't the system work? Even her family members admitted they didn't realize things had gotten so bad.
"I was so emotional inside, but my tears wouldn't fall because I really was in disbelief that it was happening," said Tabatha Coleman, the victim's cousin.
Coleman recalled the feeling after finding out her cousin, Gabrielle Bessix, was killed. Bessix, a nurse and mother, was shot by her ex-boyfriend, Brodrick Edwards, according to police. He then turned the gun on himself and took his own life.
Coleman says she never realized things were this bad.
"We pass by here a lot, daily, and never know anything. If I saw something, but never knew anything out of the ordinary," Coleman added.
However, Bessix did reach out for help. On July 24, she filed for a restraining order. In the request, she detailed an incident where Edwards allegedly choked her and threatened to kill her. The order was granted on August 15, five days before she was killed.
"She did everything that you would want someone to do," explained District Attorney Hillar Moore. "She filed a report. She went as far as obtaining a temporary restraining order."
According to Moore, Bessix did the right thing. Unfortunately, a simple paper document couldn't stop Bessix's life from being taken away. Moore added law enforcement is joining with Intimate Partner Violence Intervention. He hopes this new initiative will help reduce these types of domestic crimes.
"Taking a look at the data that we have from Baton Rouge over a period of two to three years so that it can interpret what we are seeing and see how it can better counsel us on how to prevent future domestic abuse homicides," said Moore.
The program did not begin quick enough for Bessix though. Her cousin says one family tradition will not be the same without her. "We were going to all get together and this was our plan was to tailgate this year. Now, instead of just one missing person from our tailgating family, it's going to be two," Coleman added.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there is help available. Call the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-888-411-1333. The hotline is open 24 hours per day.