A man has been airlifted to a Toronto area hospital with serious injuries in what police are calling a targeted shooting in downtown Barrie.

Barrie police were called to the area of Mulcaster Street and Lakeshore Drive on Sunday, at around 1:30 a.m. after witnesses reported hearing gunshots.

"All of a sudden there was a loud bang and then he's holding his stomach. That's when he turned and then dropped to the ground," says Megan Ferguson, a friend of the victim.

Ferguson was working bottle service at Escrow Lounge, where she says the victim and suspect got into a fight earlier in the night.

“I don’t know what they were fighting over initially, but then all of a sudden it was right near the front door. Everybody was sort of yelling at each other.”

She says moments later the commotion spilled out of the bar and that's when the victim was shot in the middle of the street.

"He was shot in his chest area,” she says. "We had somebody come over and was just trying to keep him talking to us; keep him calm."

Police believe the victim was shot in the middle of Mulcaster Street and the suspect then fled in a vehicle.

A 28-year-old Barrie man was found at the scene with serious injuries. He was rushed to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and later airlifted to a GTA hospital.

"We believe it was targeted. We believe the parties were known to one another and with the time that it occurred, the downtown is a busy place and we're asking anybody that has information to contact police or Crime Stoppers," says Barrie police Const. Sarah Bamford.

This afternoon investigators expanded their search to a home on Toronto Street, where police towed a vehicle believed to be connected to the suspect.