An innocent bystander has been permanently blinded after being shot in the face.

The victim, a 24-year old man from Brazil, is a post-secondary student in Calgary.

He was walking with his girlfriend in the 500 block of Centre Street South Tuesday night around 10 p.m. when an altercation broke out between some men in a nearby green space.

Shots were fired and ended up hitting the victim who was walking on the sidewalk.

Police found the victim bleeding from the face.

His injuries are not life-threatening but the victim is in hospital and police say he will be completely blind for the rest of his life.

Investigators have been able to speak to him but say he is still trying to come to terms with what has happened.

Police Chief Rick Hanson blames the situation on the increase in gun culture in the city.

"This type of senseless crime, it's just unfathomable. You look at the fact that this person was doing nothing but coming from a dinner, walking down the street."

Police are looking for the shooter.

He's described as a white man with a shaved head, about 6 feet tall, with a slim build.