A gay man who was shot outside of an LGBTQ+ friendly nightclub in Asheville, North Carolina is reportedly paralyzed and seeking support online.
Pedro Ventura, who was in town from Los Angeles for a friend's wedding, was standing outside the club Sandals the night of October 4 when an unidentified assailant drove by and fired several gunshots into a crowd. According to a GoFundMe set up by Ventura's partner and local reports, Ventura was the only person hit by the gunfire and his injuries are severe.
"The bullet entered his body at the back of his neck and ended up in his C4 vertebra, shattering parts of his spine and severing his spinal cord, initially leaving him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe on his own," the GoFundMe reads. "It is a miracle that he is alive, and the progress he has already made towards recovery -- including regaining partial control of his breathing and movement in his shoulders -- has defied doctors' expectations."
Ventura's family is asking for financial support to aid in his recovery. Their goal is $600,000.
"We are asking for your help to cover the costs of hospital stays, rehabilitation facilities, and 24/7 care for Pedro as he transitions into a life that is different, but still his own," they say. "We also need help with housing, transportation, and food costs for our family as we support him during this time."
They have raised almost $482,000 from more than 4,800 donors.
There is still no word on the assailant's identity, and Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in the shooting. "Authorities encourage anyone with information about the incident to contact the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1000 or Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050, if they wish to remain anonymous," they said.
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