Mia Reid, the 31-year-old woman shot and killed early Saturday in her Scotlandville apartment, had taken careful steps in the past month to extract herself from an abusive relationship with her ex-fiancé, friends and relatives said Saturday.
At the end of July, Reid and her 10-year-old daughter moved out of the apartment near Siegen Lane they shared with Frederick Dominique Reed, to a new home in north Baton Rouge, said Meghan Greene, the victim's friend since high school.
"She had made up her mind she was moving on," Greene said. "She got an apartment and didn't tell him where she was moving. He must have followed her."
Reid's daughter, Armana, called Greene at 3:40 a.m. Saturday to say her mother had been shot and Greene rushed over to the complex at 1188 Rosenwald Road.
Police said that Reid's attacker first entered a neighboring apartment, shooting the man inside in the arm before heading to Reid's apartment and killing her.
Police spokesman Cpl. L'Jean McKneely confirmed that Reed shot and injured himself Saturday morning outside of the city limits and is under treatment in a hospital.
Police Department homicide detectives consider Reed to be a "person of interest" in the case, but are waiting for the outcome of ballistics tests before naming him their official suspect, McKneely said late Saturday.
The couple had been together for a year, Reid's sister, Kyla Reid, said, and Reid had moved to Baton Rouge from Atlanta in February to be with him.
Reid's family wanted her to move back to Atlanta, but she said she loved her job in Baton Rouge, her sister said.
On Aug. 12, Reid filed a petition for a temporary restraining order against Reed, 19th Judicial District Court documents show.
In the petition, Reid details how Reed would not stop calling and e-mailing her after she moved out and how he had been seen driving by her new apartment. She also describes how Reed had physically abused her in the past.
Reed was arrested by East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies on a count of domestic abuse battery in March, but Reid dropped the complaint, the petition says.
"I kept telling her that he was not done," Kyla Reid said. "I knew this was going to happen."
The temporary restraining order was denied, documents show, and Reid told her family it was denied because her ex-fiancé had not caused her any recent bodily harm, Kyla Reid said.
"She said, 'What do I have to do, die first?'" Kyla Reid quoted her sister as saying at the time.
Temporary restraining orders under Revised Statute 46:2151 are intended to provide emergency protection in extraordinary circumstances, and the law is "very, very stringent," Family Court Judge Annette Lassalle explained Saturday, while declining to comment on the specifics of Reid's case.
"I absolutely do not want to send a message that people cannot get release, but that particular title is very limited," Lassalle said.
"Title 46 has to be an emergency," she said. "There is help, just not using this particular statute."
A hearing on a long-term protective order was set for Tuesday and Reid's file sat at the top of a stack of family violence files in the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court's Office Saturday afternoon.
A letter from Mia's mother:
A coward took my daughter's life on Saturday morning, August 23, 2008. He broke into her apartment and shot her as she slept.
She is special to me and I will miss her terribly. She added so much to my life and to the lives of her sisters and brothers and her friends, neighbors and co-workers. She was a great mother to her daughter Armana. Armana loved her mother very much.
I hope that everyone knows that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Mia is definately now with the Lord.