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Mandeville, La. — A Covington man who was shot in the head in a public recreational area on the North Shore Sunday evening is in a Baton Rouge Hospital in serious condition, according to authorities.
Mandeville police believe the shooting of the 24-year-old man on Tammany Trace was not random.
"When you hear something like this it just kind of scares you," said Nick Diliberto, a resident.
Mandeville police said the victim, whose name FOX 8 News is not making public, was found unconscious with a gunshot wound about 6:30 Sunday evening .
Runners, walkers, and bicyclists who frequent the area are stunned.
"It's really scary because we have three kids, 11, 9 and 7. And we go up and down as a family all the time on the Trace and it's really scary to know that something like this happened so close to our house, in a neighborhood that you feel very comfortable in," said Diliberto.
"I bike from Mandeville, come out and catch the lakefront and then catch the Trace," said Dan Grzych, who often rides his bicycle in the area.
Mandeville police emphasized that they do not believe that the shooting was a random act of violence.
"We think that this is just an isolated incident and we're throwing everything that we have at it," said Lt. Gerald Sticker. "What we've done at this point is just try to trace down as many leads as we can trying to determine who he was in contact with prior to him ending up on the trace."
The victim's vehicle was still missing Monday afternoon. Police believe the vehicle, a 1999 white Buick Century, still has the temporary Louisiana license plate tag. The number is 15591683. Investigators said the victim had recently received a permanent tag, but police do not believe he had placed it on the vehicle yet.
"Our officers canvassed the scene, weren't able to locate his vehicle, so we suspect that whoever is responsible for this shooting, also it's a good possibility that he has our victim's vehicle," continued Sticker.
And while people in the area are still upset that such a crime could happen so close to their homes, they said they are relieved to hear from investigators that the shooting was not random.
"Knowing that it doesn't look like it's a random event actually does make you feel a little bit more comfortable," said Diliberto.
Still some others are not ready to relax their guard.
"I don't think I'd want to be riding early mornings, or late evenings," said Grzych.
Anyone with information on the crime should call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.
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