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CBS2 Exclusive: Girlfriend Of Slain Brooklyn Man Says They Endured Years Of Abuse From Alleged Killer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Brooklyn woman says she endured a decade of abuse at the hands of a former NYPD Officer that ended with her boyfriend dead.

She spoke exclusively to CBS2's Jessica Moore about her grief, as she says the system failed her.

Melissa Rotundo says photos and memories are all that remain of her slain boyfriend, Joseph Stepinski.

"He was very loving and kind," Rotundo said. She didn't wish to show her face because she is still terrified of the decade of harassment she says she and Stepinski endured at the hands of their neighbor, retired NYPD officer Gene Barrett.

"Terrifying, he'd open his window when we went outside and yell things," she said. "We'd call the police, call 311. They'd come knock on the door and just leave."

She says she thinks it was because he was an ex-police officer.

Rotundo says she eventually convinced her landlord to install this camera outside their apartment, but even that wasn't enough to stop Barrett's harassment.

"In the end it was getting so bad that I wanted to go to the police and see if I could get some more help, but it ended before I could do anything," she said.

On Mar. 6, years of alleged torment ended in the worst possible way when police say Barrett, unprovoked, shot Stepinski in the head outside of their home and then used the victim's phone to try to lure the rest of the family to the crime scene.

"He said you better come home right now," Rotundo said. "You better come home right now."

Rotundo says she believes Barrett intended to shoot her and her two kids too, but by then they couldn't get home. Their neighborhood was on lockdown, with Barrett at the center of a police standoff.

"No one cared," she said. "And now Joe's dead and my life is ruined. My kid's lives are ruined."

Barrett is now in jail, charged with murder, and that's where Rotundo says she hopes he stays forever.

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