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Palm Springs real estate agent shot in Mexico, he and husband call it a "hate crime"

Man says he was victim of hate crime after he was shot in Puerto Vallarta.
Photo credit:
Noticias Puerto Vallarta - Facebook

A Palm Springs couple on vacation in Puerto Vallarta say they were victims of a hate crime when one of the men was shot early Saturday morning.

Carl Blea and Marc Lange are married and after a night of dancing made their way back to the condo where they were staying at about 2:30 am, according to the Desert Sun.

Lange says they were holding hands as they walked through a plaza. That’s when they say a man yelled something at them, and Blea noticed the person yelling pulled out a gun. They both took cover, but Blea had been shot.

Lange talked to The Desert Sun by phone and said the bullet entered Blea below his right buttock and exited through his thigh. Lange said if they hadn’t reacted so quickly the injuries could have been worse.

The couple believes the shooting was a hate crime because they are gay, Lange calling it a “random act of hatred.” He says he told local authorities what happened but they might be downplaying the story for fear of losing tourism.

They say the local news ran a story making it seem like there was a struggle as a result of a robbery, but Lange says that’s false.

"We never uttered a word to (the gunman)," Lange said.

A Facebook update posted by Lange emphasizes what they believe is an inaccurate news report

"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."

Both men are real estate agents with HOM Sotheby’s International Realty. They are hoping to return to Palm Springs on Monday. The shooter is still at large.

You can watch Mexican police video of the incident shortly after it happened HERE.