ROME (AP) _ A father reportedly outraged that his son was gay and working as a prostitute has been arrested on charges of hiring a hitman.

Giuseppe Mandanici, 33, was shot three times in the stomach and arm as he solicited clients Wednesday on a sidewalk in Mazzara Sant'Andrea near the Sicilian city of Messina.

He was in serious condition in a hospital after an operation to remove a bullet from his liver.

A few hours after the shooting, his father, Vincenzo, 58, was arrested on charges of attempted murder, said deputy police chief Carmelo Castrogiovanni.

''He was ashamed, he couldn't accept his son's sexual inclination and refused to allow anyone in the family to talk about it,'' said a report in the newspaper La Repubblica. ''Despite efforts by his wife and another son, the arguments got worse and worse.''

Police also arrested the man who allegedly shot Mandanici. Newspapers said he was paid $700 for the shooting.