David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. The former Boston Red Sox player underwent successful surgery before being flown to Boston via air ambulance. He was admitted to Mass General Hospital where he underwent a second surgery. Ortiz is said to be in stable condition and is recovering in the ICU.
Ortiz’s wife Tiffany released a statement on her husband’s condition on Tuesday, June 11.
“David arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital last night and underwent a successful second surgery. He is stable, awake, and resting comfortably this morning in the ICU where he is expected to remain for the next several days. On behalf of me and my family, I want to thank John and Linda Henry, Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and the Boston Red Sox for all that they are doing for David and our family, as well as Dr. Larry Ronan and the amazing staff at Massachusetts General Hospital. Lastly, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and love that we have received during this incredibly difficult time. We ask for privacy as David works towards recovery.”
Ortiz’s father Leo Ortiz was first to confirm the news of the shooting to ESPN Digital.
“They called to tell me that David is injured and that they took him to a medical center, but they did not tell me how he is or exactly where he was transferred,” Leo Ortiz told ESPN via telephone from the Dominican Republic. “At the moment, everything is confusing. I’m trying to find out where they took my son,” Ortiz’s father added.
“One of the doctors who performed the surgery told Dominican TV station CDN 37 that Ortiz is out of danger,” ESPN reports.
It was initially reported that Ortiz was shot during an attempted robbery, but the local police later said it was not believed to be a robbery. The police declined to provide more information about a possible motive, saying that the investigation is ongoing.
“Our thoughts are with David Ortiz, who is reportedly hospitalized after being shot in his hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic,” the MLB tweeted.
The baseball league also retweeted several current players offering prayers for Ortiz. His friend and former Red Sox teammate, retired pitcher turned TV analyst Pedro Martinez, tweeted, “I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice. My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ortiz Underwent a 6-Hour Surgery & Is Currently in the ICU
Ortiz is currently in a hospital in the Dominican Republic where he is listed in “stable condition.” The latest update on Ortiz’s condition was tweeted out by Dominican journalist Dionisio Soldevila.
“David Ortiz’s surgery was six hours, not two like his father said. It’s been confirmed to us that part of his intestines, colon, and gallbladder were removed. He’s in the ICU, stable and recovering,” the translated tweet reads.
The Boston Red Sox have offered the Ortiz family any and all available resources and was responsible for sending a plane to the Dominican Republic to transport Ortiz to Massachusetts.
2. Ortiz Was Shot Once & Is Stable & Speaking
Videos of Ortiz at the club before the shooting have been shared on social media.
Dominican journalist Jose P. Monegro recently tweeted that Ortiz was transferred to Abel Gonzalez clinic on Lincoln Avenue after receiving initial treatment at the Integral Medical Center in the Eastern Zone. Monegro also tweeted that Ortiz was being operated on.
At least one report indicates that Ortiz was shot in the lower back and that the bullet came out through his abdomen. That report also claims that Ortiz pleaded with the doctor, begging him, “please, don’t let me die.”
Dominican reporter Dionisio Soldevila recently tweeted that Ortiz’s brother Eloy confirmed that Big Papi was in surgery but that everything was going well. Another report indicates that Ortiz is “out of danger.” You can see that below.
3. Police Have Arrested 6 Suspects & 1 Has Admitted to Being the Triggerman
Soon after the shooting, one suspect had been taken into custody. Police identified him as Eddy Feliz Garcia (pictured above). In the days following the shooting, additional arrests have been made.
Oliver Mirabal, who has alleged ties to a drug trafficking gang, has also been arrested.
On Wednesday, June 12, police said that Rolfy Ferreira Cruz (pictured below) had been arrested and that he had admitted to being the person who shot Ortiz.
Police have also arrested Joel Rodriguez de la Cruz, Porfirio Ayendi Dechamps Vásquez, and Reynaldo Rodríguez Valenzuela.
A motive is not clear. According to El Dia, a police source said the incident may have been the work of “hired killers.”
“Video footage shows a man, with a bloody face, who was presumably sitting near Ortiz, stood up from his seat and shot Ortiz in the pelvis. Another version of a woman who was nearby when the incident occurred said that some individuals dismounted to shoot at a person, but the shot hit Ortiz,” Listin Diario reports.
Video of the shooting has been uploaded to YouTube. You can see it below.
There have also been videos that appear to show the suspect being beaten after the shooting. You can see one of those videos below. Please be advised that some may find the video to be graphic.
It’s unclear if police are seeking any other suspects.
4. Television Presenter Jhoel Lopez Was With Ortiz & Was Also Injured in the Shooting
The former Red Sox player was at the venue with television presenter Jhoel Lopez, who was also injured. The extent of Lopez’s injuries are unknown at this time, however, his wife Liza took to Instagram to let the public know that her husband is in “stable condition.”
Lopez is the host of Me Gusta de Noche, which premiered in 2017. He also has a number of producer and actor credits to his name. His most recent credit is for Love Kills in 2016, in which he played the role of Kachu. He doesn’t have any recent credits to his name on his IMDb page.
Lopez posted the above photo, taken with Ortiz, approximately six hours before the shooting.
Lopez is a dad to one little girl named Lenash.
5. Ortiz Was Born in the Dominican Republic & Retired From the MLB in 2016
Ortiz has family in the Dominican Republic, the country where he was born. He’s been known to spend a great deal of time in the Dominican Republic, where he has a home and family.
Ortiz is married and is a father of three children. He and his wife Tiffany are parents to a teenage daughter named Alexandra and a son named D’Angelo. Ortiz has another daughter, Jessica, from a previous relationship. According to the Boston Herald, Jessica graduated from high school in the Dominican Republic.
Also known as Big Papi, Ortiz played in the MLB for 20 seasons. He originally signed with the Seattle Mariners in 1992 and was traded to the Twins in 1996 where he played six seasons. Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Red Sox in 2003.
He won three World Series titles with the Red Sox before retiring in 2016. You can watch Papi’s farewell to Fenway Park in the video below.