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Mr. Hairston said he was shocked to learn of Mr. Ross‘ fate because he walks the same route past the modest homes and small businesses that line Old Central Avenue.

“I was sitting right next to him, laughing with him,” he said. “It’s a safe walk.”

Bula Ola, an attendant at the Citgo gas station yards away from the shooting, said he sees a different stretch of road.

Sitting behind a thick pane of glass, Mr. Ola said that the area “is not safe.”

He got to work at about 7:30 a.m., and while he wasn’t there when the shooting happened, the heavy police presence wasn’t a shock.

“It’s very dangerous,” he added. “It’s a tough place. Very tough.”