Oliver Mirabal, who has alleged ties to a drug trafficking gang, is accused of being the second suspect under arrest in the ambush-style shooting of baseball great David Ortiz. His full name is Oliver Moisés Mirabal Acosta.
Word of a second suspect comes as the National Police in the Dominican Republic continue to unravel exactly what led a gunman to leap off a motorcycle and pump a bullet into the former Boston Red Sox slugger’s back. A press conference is expected on June 12 that might offer some clarity into the tangled sequence of events.
Previously National Police named Eddy Feliz Garcia as one of two suspects in the shooting of David Ortiz. However, Garcia was not accused of being the shooter; it’s not yet clear whether police think Oliver Mirabal played that role. Indeed, a leading Dominican newspaper is reporting that five suspects were arrested.
Police now say that the shooting was a hit with at least six suspects involved and paid $7,800, the Associated Press is reporting; however, authorities still have not specified the motive or mastermind for the attack. They also arrested a man named Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz in connection with the shooting.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Oliver Mirabal Was Previously Involved in a Firearms Case Tied to a Drug Lord, Reports Say
Listin Diario newspaper in the Dominican Republic has published a story that outlines Oliver Mirabal’s alleged ties to a drug trafficker and firearms case.
According to the newspaper, Oliver Moisés Mirabal Acosta was previously sentenced to five years in prison for illegal possession of firearms, a sentence handed down in 2017. It appears that the sentence was suspended, however.
He was accused of “having participated in the execution of at least four people in the province of Santo Domingo,” in a case “linked to the band of drug trafficker Junior Minaya Javier ‘Gilbert,’ in Herrera, in Santo Domingo Oeste,” the newspaper reported.
The executions occurred in 2013 “at a drug spot in the town of Las Palmas de Herrera, in a place known as ‘El Pentagono,'” the newspaper reported.
Diario Libre reported of Mirabal: “Authorities have not offered details of what was his role in the crime. The only thing is that he has assured that he was not the one who fired.”
Sports journalist Franklin Mirabal has said “he did not know if the person involved in the case of David Ortiz has any connection with his family,” Listin Diario reported.
Franklin Mirabal wrote on Instagram, “Each person is responsible for their actions:
Some friends have called me asking if my family is OLIVER MIRABAL, linked to David’s case. The first thing I must say is that the responsibilities are individual. Second: I’m on David’s side…I have 2 brothers, who in past ages had problems with justice. But since I do not SUPPORT the bad, for more than 15 years I have cut off relationships with them and their immediate families. I do not know where they live, what they do, or who their children are. When I saw the Photo of OLIVER, I did not know him…”
2. The Other Suspect, Garcia, Is Accused of Being the Driver of the Motorcycle
Ortiz retired in 2016 from the Boston Red Sox, which he helped lead to World Series acclaim. He was shot as he frequented a club in the Dominican Republic on June 9, 2019. “Big Papi,” as he is known, was reportedly in stable condition, and he was flown back to Boston for treatment.
Garcia’s family told NBC 10 Boston that he’s a fan of Ortiz and had nothing to do with the shooting.
Garcia’s lawyer told NBC 10 that he had just picked up a “fare” on his motorcycle and had no idea the man was going to shoot Ortiz. “He didn’t know what they were going to do. He’s a fan of David’s,” the lawyer told the Boston TV station.
3. The Shooting Was Captured on Video
Grainy surveillance video shows the actual shooting. You can watch it above but be forewarned that it’s disturbing.
The bullet forced doctors to remove part of the baseball player’s intestines and his gall bladder, and he suffered bleeding of the liver, Listin Diario reported.
Additional video footage showed the other suspect, Garcia, being beaten by locals at the scene. National Police later confirmed in a statement that citizens captured Garcia. It’s not yet clear what led to the apprehension of Oliver Mirabal.
Photos also emerged of Garcia with a bloodied face.
4. Ortiz’s Spokesman Has Alleged the Shooting Was the ‘Act of Hired Killers’
Ortiz’s assistant, Leo Lopez, told Diario Libre previously that the shooting was “an act of hired killers.”
However, he rejected claims by the British publication Daily Mail that the hit was motivated by jealousy involving a woman, according to the publication (those are claims not confirmed by authorities).
Police have not yet said whether they have adopted the hired assassin theory. What is clear is that police think the shooting was an ambush, not something random like a robbery. This seems borne out by the surveillance video showing the gunman approaching Ortiz from behind before firing at close range.
5. Police Say Ortiz Was Ambushed by a Gunman Who Arrived on a Motorcycle
The Chicago Tribune reported that Ortiz “was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range,” attributing the information to Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista, who said the gunman “approached from behind and shot” Ortiz.
The initial press release from the National Police states that members of the Scientific Police are working to establish the sequence of events and to establish “if in the fact there are others involved.”
“The authorities have in their possession a motorcycle Bajaj Platina, in which the people involved moved, whose origin is investigated,” the release says in Spanish.
There are two suspects, according to the release, which says that “two young men showed up on the aforementioned motorcycle.”
“One of the occupants of the motorcycle approached the amusement center and made a single shot that hit the former player and his companion, after which they tried to escape on the motorcycle, falling to the pavement,” the release adds.
“One of the involved managed to escape on foot, while another, identified as Eddy Vladimir Felix Garcia, was arrested by the crowd that hit him and handed over to the authorities.”
Garcia has a drug history, police revealed in the release, saying: “The detainee, Felix Garcia, who resides in the sector of Las Caobas, Santo Domingo Oeste, and who appears with a registry for possession of drugs in 2017, suffered blows and injuries that caused him to people who were in the place, reason why he was transferred to the Doctor Dario Contreras hospital.”
Bautista ruled out robbery as a motive, reports say.