MIAMI – A tourist from Colombia was shot last week during an apparent robbery after he arrived in Miami to celebrate his 40th birthday.
Carlos Alvarado, who also goes by Charlie Zen, was shot about 6:15 p.m. Jan. 15 in the 5300 block of Northeast Third Avenue, just south of Little Haiti, on the day he arrived in South Florida.
"Being from Bogota, Colombia, it's something you never think will happen to you in a city like Miami," Alvarado said in Spanish.
According to Alvarado's friend, he and another friend were taking photos in the area when they were approached by man who started speaking loudly to them in English.
Alvarado and his friend, who speak Spanish, did not understand the man.
"He was talking too fast, and we couldn't understand," Alvarado said.
The victim's friend said the man then pulled out a gun and shot Alvarado. His friend was not injured.
A photo taken at the scene shows glass on the ground from a nearby bus stop that was struck by gunfire. Cellphone video shows the two begging for help, waiting on paramedics to arrive.
Alvarado underwent surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He celebrated his 40th birthday Saturday in the hospital and has since been released.
He is staying in Miami for a bit longer as he recovers from his injuries.
"Thank goodness I am getting better," Alvarado said.
No arrests have been made.
Alvarado's friends have created a GoFundMe page to help with his medical expenses.
Anyone with further information about the shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.