A 27-year-old British man was admitted to the Costa del Sol hospital in Marbella in the early hours of Monday morning with four gunshot wounds to his legs.
His condition was described later that morning as serious but stable and sources said he would possibly be undergoing surgery imminently.
The injured man was driven to the hospital by a friend. On arrival at the accident and emergency department, staff discovered he had been shot four times in the lower limbs, hospital sources said.
While the inquiry is in its early stages, police believe it is a case of a settling of scores among organised criminal gangs, and the shooting could be interpreted as a warning.
If this were confirmed, this would be the first case of gangland violence on the Costa del Sol since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, which also interrupted fights and vendettas among drug traffickers.