A GOLD Coast businessman shot by highrise sniper while walking with his family in Surfers Paradise has been shot at before in his native South Africa, a friend who witnessed the latest attack has revealed.
The 42-year-old air-conditioning worker and his family left their crime-ridden homeland about seven years ago for what they thought would be a safer life in Australia.
He was shot as he strolled the Surfers Paradise esplanade with family and friends - including a baby - about 9pm on Saturday, apparently by a sniper positioned on the rooftop of a beachfront highrise.
"He's had a lot of trouble in South Africa with the crime. He's been shot at over there, everything happened to him," the friend, known only as Chris, told Gold Coast radio station Sea Fm this morning.
"It's not good for Australia."
Chris said he and his friend had been tenpin bowling with their families in Surfers Paradise and were walking along the esplanade when shots rang out.
"There were no altercations that night with anybody, nothing at all," he said.
"I just heard a crack and a few of us saw a flash to the left. I just turned around and I saw a friend of mine clutching his thigh, running for cover. We just thought he might have been hit by a sandbag or something and was winded.
"Then we realised it was a bit more. There was a bit of blood and he was on the floor in a lot of pain.
"He's a tough guy and he can take a lot of pain, but this took it out of him."
The victim remains in the Gold Coast Hospital in a serious condition as police continue investigations into a total of three shooting incidents on the tourist strip over the weekend.