ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Pedro Ventura, a Los Angeles, Calif. native and Dominican Republic immigrant who came to the U.S. as a child, was shot outside the Scandals nightclub in early October during the early morning hours and became paralyzed when the bullet penetrated his neck and became lodged in his C4 vertebra, Towleroad reported.
Ventura was visiting the Blue Ridge town and the bar and was waiting outside the establishment for an Uber to pick him up, The Advocate stated. LGBTQ Nation reported that there we nearly 300 individuals congregating around the area when the incident occurred.
An unidentified assailant drove by and fired several gunshots into the crowd, Towleroad added.
Now, Ezra Glenn, Ventura’s partner, has created a GoFundMe page, Hope for Pedro, to help defray medical expenses. The goal set is $600,000. So far, as of press time, $512,561 had been raised, with many contributions being made by perfect strangers who sought to offer their monetary support and encouragement.
Glenn shared on the GoFundMe page, “Despite the presence of up to 300 people in the street, Pedro was the only person hit in 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. 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.”
Initially hospitalized in Asheville, he has now been moved to a facility in another state that specializes in spinal injuries, The Advocate said. He is on a ventilator and his condition has improved. Doctors are hopeful that he will be able to breath unassisted soon.
A reward is being offered of up to $5,000 by the Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers for information leading to the apprehension of the shooter. Tips can be called into the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1000 or Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050. Those reporting do not have to share their names.
Ventura was an honors graduate from Wesleyan University and had established a career in the music industry, the GoFundMe page stated.