Carl Blea, a Palm Springs real estate agent, was shot while holding hands with his husband Marc Lange in a public park in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a popular gay winter destination.
The bullet struck Blea in the back of the leg and exited through his thigh, according to the Desert Sun:
At about 2:30 a.m., at the end of a night of dancing, Carl Blea and Marc Lange were holding hands and walking to the condo where they were staying, Lange said. As they passed through a plaza, a man standing nearby yelled something at them. Blea then noticed the man pull out a gun and tried to get himself and Lange to safety.
…The men believe the shooting was a targeted hate crime because they’re gay. Lange called it “a random act of hatred.” He said he’s told police what happened multiple times.
The men are speaking out about the incident because they believe local authorities are trying to suppress news in order to protect tourism, the Desert Sun adds:
A local news report mentioned a robbery attempt and struggles between the gunman and the couple. But Lange said that is not what happened and he’s worried local authorities are trying to cover up the incident because it could hurt tourism in a city popular with foreign vacationers.
“We never uttered a word to (the gunman),” Lange said.
Lange wrote on Facebook: “This was not a robbery went bad. It was a hate crime as Carl Blea and I were walking hand in hand. We never spoke to the man who shot us. He yelled at us and then pulled out a gun and shot at us. This is not correct. We told 3 different set of police officials the same story. There were no witnesses, the street was empty.”
A video shot moments after the incident shows Blea on the ground while being attended to by paramedics.
Lange also published an account of the incident on his Facebook page:
I post this only because there has been no local press or alerts made to the puerto Vallarta area.
Last night we were involved in nothing more than a hate crime.
Last night my husband and I were walking home hand in hand from an evening out in puerto Vallarta. As we cross the street walking into a well lite area, Cardenas Lazaro park, we pass a white car and a person who looked like he had done hard time in prison, wife beater and tattoos both face and body (circle tattoo on right side of face). As we walk pass him he shouts something. I turn to look and then turn away, Carl Blea looks and see this person pull out a gun which is now pointed at us. Carl begins to run and pulls me away from the shooter. A bullet is shot and Carl goes down. Shot. We have no idea what is happening. A concrete building separates us from the shooter. I scream for help….. someone finally helps, police arrive, 45 min later the ambulance arrives.
This person was there for no other reason than to kill innocent people. We happened to be his target. There is nothing in the local newspaper or news warning people of this incident. Please share with anyone who is there.