Key Police Question: Was 'Big Papi' the Target?

Former Red Sox star David Ortiz recuperating from gunshot wound
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2019 11:05 AM CDT
Key Police Question: Was 'Big Papi' the Target?
A 2013 photo of David Ortiz.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

By all accounts, former Red Sox star David Ortiz is out of imminent danger after being shot in a Dominican Republic bar Sunday night. However, the 43-year-old did suffer serious injuries, including organ damage, and will remain in the ICU for 24 hours, reports the Boston Globe. Citing a person briefed by the medical team, the Globe reports that doctors had to remove part of Ortiz's colon and that he also suffered damage to his gall bladder and liver. "The bullet went through his stomach," a spokesman for the Dominican National Police tells CNN. As he recuperates, police are trying to figure out what happened. Details:

  • The shooting: Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo about 8:50pm Sunday when a gunman came up from behind and shot him in the back, reports the AP. WCVB has grainy video here, though the network stops the video before the shooting takes place, given its graphic nature. Police say the shooter didn't say a word.

  • The suspect: Bystanders captured and beat the gunman, says police director Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte. CBS News identifies him as Eddy Feliz Garcia. The Globe reports that he has a drug possession charge on his record. Police also were searching for a second suspect.
  • The target? Ortiz was shot at nearly point-blank range, but police say it's too early to say whether he was the intended target. Ortiz was at a table with singer Secreto, and a police spokesman says it's possible the singer was the target. "We're not ruling out any scenario," the spokesman says. "What we can rule out is that this wasn't a robbery." Ortiz lives in his native country at least part of the year.
  • Also hit: Dominican Republic TV host Jhoel Lopez also was shot, in the leg, and police think the same bullet that went through Ortiz hit him. Lopez's injuries were not life-threatening. Police say a third person was injured, but no details were immediately available.
  • Tributes: "Big Papi," a 10-time All-Star who helped Boston win three championships, retired after 20 seasons in 2016. Former and current players were wishing Ortiz well. "I'm at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can't wait to hear your voice," tweeted former pitcher Pedro Martinez, who's also from the Dominican Republic. The Red Sox team and Alex Rodriguez also tweeted their support, here and here.
(More David Ortiz stories.)

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