Rolfi Ferreira Cruz – who is also known as Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz and by the nickname “Sandy” – is now accused by National Police in the Dominican Republic of ambushing and shooting former Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz.
“Detainee Rolfi Ferreira admitted that he was the person who fired at former baseball player David Ortiz,” a press release from the National Police says.
“The investigators indicated that the weapon used was a pistol mark HI-POWER, which after committing the act was taken to the detainee Oliver Moisés, who later handed it over to Porfirio Ayendi,” says the release, which adds that Ayenda allegedly buried the gun “in the patio of his house.”
Police now say the gunman was a hired assassin, but the mastermind behind the attack – and the motive – are still under investigation.
Rolfy Cruz also goes by the names Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz and the nickname “Sandy.” His name was spelled in some Dominican publications and in the police press release as Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, but a mugshot released by the same police agency used the Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz spelling. Several of the police mugshots have slightly different spellings from the police press release. Sorting out who was the actual gunman has proven confusing; Listin Diario, a major Dominican Republic newspaper, reported on June 12, that Ferreyra Cruz “was identified by the police chief as the shooter against Ortiz, even though moments before the attorney general, Jean Alain Rodríguez, had mentioned Ramón Martínez Pérez ‘Rolfi’ as the material author ‘of the incident.'” However, after that point, the police released a press release identifying Rolfi Ferreira Cruz as the alleged triggerman.
The news came after multiple other men were rounded up and arrested as police continue to investigation why a gunman jumped off a motorcycle and fired a bullet into the back of Ortiz as he gathered with friends inside a Dominican Republic club.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Rounded up Six Suspects in the Shooting & the Gunman Was Paid to Shoot Ortiz
News of the arrest of Rolfy Cruz came after other arrests in the shooting of the famous baseball player. Police Maj. Gen. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said in a press conference on June 12 that the triggerman was paid for the shooting – about $7,800, according to the Associated Press. They haven’t specified a motive, although they previously discounted robbery as a possibility.
Police said six people are in custody.
Oliver Mirabal, who has alleged ties to a drug trafficking gang, was 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.
There was also another man who was arrested at the scene; Eddy Feliz Garcia was earlier identified as one of the suspects in the shooting of David Ortiz. However, Garcia and Mirabal were not accused of being the shooter.
Listin Diario reported that the others arrested are Joel Rodriguez de la Cruz, Porfirio Ayendi Dechamps Vásquez, and Reynaldo Rodríguez Valenzuela.
A leading Dominican newspaper is reporting that five suspects were arrested. According to AP, a sixth suspect is being pursued, but authorities now think they have the person who pulled the trigger in custody.
2. One of the Suspects Has Drug Trafficking Ties, Reports Say
At least one of the three suspects named so far – Oliver Mirabal – has drug gang ties, according to reports.
Listin Diario newspaper in the Dominican Republic reported that Oliver Moisés Mirabal Acosta was previously sentenced to five years in prison for illegal possession of firearms, a sentence handed down in 2017. He received a suspended sentence, 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…When I saw the Photo of OLIVER, I did not know him…”
3. The Other Suspect, Garcia, Is Accused of Being the Driver of the Motorcycle
The Associated Press is reporting that police believe the two men on the motorcycle conferred with other men seen in cars on surveillance video.
Ortiz, called affectionately “Big Papi,” was flown back to Boston for treatment where he is recovering from a wound that sliced through his back and exited out his stomach, causing him to lose part of his intestines.
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.
4. The Shooting Was Captured on Video
You can see the exact moment that David Ortiz was shot via grainy surveillance video. Be forewarned that it’s disturbing.
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.
Police released this photo of Garcia:
Photos also emerged of Garcia with a bloodied face.
5. 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 said they don’t suspect a robbery as the motive.
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.”