A California real estate agent claims he was the victim of a hate crime after he was shot while vacationing in Mexico.
Carl Blea, 47, and his husband, Marc Lange, 49, were holding hands while walking back to their condo in Puerto Vallarta from a nightclub when they felt someone creeping up behind them at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Blea told the Daily News.
The couple walked through a park and noticed a man yelling at them, but they couldnt understand him. The man fired at Blea in the right buttock and the bullet exited through his upper thigh, Blea said.
The gunman then fled the scene. The couple who are real estate agents in Palm Springs, Calif. believe they were targeted because theyre gay men who were seen holding hands.
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Lange called the incident a random act of hatred.
Authorities are considering the incident a robbery, but the men dispute that assessment.
That’s not what happened, Lange said. Theyre covering it up. People need to know that hes (the gunman) is still out there.
Lange said he and his husband have been traveling to Mexico for the last decade and dont have any plans to return to Puerto Vallarta anytime soon.
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It’s sad because we were looking to purchase here and to live here after we retire, he said. Now, at this point, were not seeing this as a reality.
Lange added he wants the public to know about the lack of responsibility the city has shown to its residents.
Had the shooter been successful to kill us both, it wouldve been brushed away as a robbery, Lange said. And no one would know the truth.
Blea is recovering at a hospital in Puerto Vallarta. He and Lange are heading back to the United States Tuesday.