The two men were standing outside the Hotel Silken Ramblas around 3.15pm on Tuesday afternoon when a third man, dressed in black and wearing a balaclava approached them and fired two shots.
In the ensuing panic tourists dived for cover fearing more shots and the hooded attacker calmly walked away, according to several eye witness reports in Spanish media.
Meanwhile the two victims had sought refuge from their attacker in the hotel before fleeing through the fire exit and into a neighbouring street.
— FOROtv (@Foro_TV) July 28, 2015
According to sources close to the investigation, quoted in El Pais, one bullet hit the Belgian in the stomach while the other shot destroyed the glass front of the hotel through which the British man fell and injured himself superficially on broken glass.
The more seriously wounded man, who was clutching his bleeding stomach collapsed in a souvenir store while the young Chinese owner attempted to stem the flow of blood before paramedics arrived. He is now recovering in hospital.
Neither victims have been named but both have been interviewed by police. Investigators believe the shooter may have been known to the victims and that the hit could have been a retaliatory act, according to a report in La Vanguardia