PLATTSBURGH — Shawn Gladd always aimed for the bull’s-eye.
The devoted dart player took his talents from Rouses Point to sunny Florida in 1994, five years after graduating from Northeastern Clinton Central School in Champlain.
“We talked on the phone a lot,” his mother, Shirley Gladd of Rouses Point, said Wednesday. “He called us all the time.”
Tragically, Shawn, 40, died from a gunshot wound Sunday at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor found him at about 1 a.m. in a grassy area near the intersection of Rose Boulevard and Rio Grande Avenue in Oak Ridge, a suburb of the Orlando-Kissimmee metropolitan area.
Authorities were still searching for a motive in the case, which they are calling a homicide.
‘LOTS OF FRIENDS’
Shirley said her son, who was born in Plattsburgh, was employed as an assistant manager at a bar in Orlando. He leaves a 5-year-old daughter, Avary, and her mother, Gill Rissetto.
Shawn is also survived by an older daughter from a previous relationship, 7-year-old Jordyn, who lives in the Orlando area.
“He had a lot of friends in Florida and around here,” Shirley said. “We have been getting a lot of calls from people who have heard what happened.”
She recalled her son’s passion for sports, something that stuck with him through high school until his untimely passing.
“He played hockey in high school, and he was big time into sports,” she said. “He also loved playing golf. He visited some of the courses here, and I know he still tried to golf down there.”
She remembered when Shawn left for Florida in search of a warmer climate and how much he appreciated his new surroundings.
“You know how young guys that age are. He just had to go there,” she said. “He really loved it there.
“He would come home around Christmas sometimes for the holidays,” she added.
Shawn last returned to Rouses Point in March 2011.
That visit was extra special, Shirley said, because she and her husband, Donald, got to spend quality time with their son and Avary.
The family was still working on funeral arrangements for Shawn, which will be held privately. Shirley said they hoped to plan a memorial service or other gathering at a later date so friends here could pay final respects to Shawn.
“He just had a lot of friends,” she said.
Shawn is also survived by a brother, Mike, and his wife, Barb, and other relatives.
Police said investigation into the case was ongoing, as they were attempting to determine the exact location of the shooting and what led to it.
Anyone with information is being asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 254-7000 or CRIMELINE at (800) 423-TIPS (8477).
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