Bystanders at the shooting of former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz beat up one of two suspects before handing him over to police, the Dominican Republic National Police said Monday.Ortiz, 43, was shot in the back and “the bullet went through his stomach,” Felix Durán Mejia, a spokesman for the national police, told CNN. Ortiz is recovering from surgery after he was shot Sunday night at a club in his native Santo Domingo, according to police. He remains in intensive care after being treated for bleeding in his liver and having portion of his intestines and gall bladder removed, said Leo Lopez, Ortiz’s media assistant.
David Ortiz, seen here in 2016, was shot Sunday at a Santo Domingo club, police say.Suspect Eddy Vladimir Féliz García of nearby Santo Domingo West, its own city, and another man approached the Dial Discotheque on a motorcycle before at least one opened fire, hitting Ortiz and his friend, police said in a statement. They tried to drive away, but the motorcycle fell to the pavement.The crowd attacked Féliz García and handed him over to police, while the second suspect fled on foot, police said. The suspect was treated at Hospital Dr. Dario Contreras in Santo Domingo and is now in police custody, the statement said.
Ortiz does not know the suspect in custody, nor does he know why he was shot, though Lopez said Ortiz is confident the shooting was not a robbery attempt.The former slugger is in stable condition, and his family hopes to move him to the United States as soon as doctors give the OK, said Lopez, who was with Ortiz’s relatives at the hospital. Tiffany, Ortiz’s wife of more than 16 years, was still in the United States as of early Monday afternoon, the media assistant said.
Video shows gunman open fire
Surveillance footage from the club shows an area of packed tables. Clubgoers are drinking, mingling and fiddling with their phones when a shooter approaches from the top of the screen, the short video clip shows.Only a shooter’s legs are visible when a shot is fired, appearing to hit Ortiz in the back. Ortiz slumps to his left and falls out of his chair. Frightened bystanders knock over chairs as they flee.Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, who has seen the video, confirmed to CNN that the man who falls from his chair is Ortiz.
Leo Ortiz spoke to reporters outside the hospital after his son’s surgery.”He is resting right now. He is stable,” he said in Spanish.Television host Jhoel Lopez, who was with David Ortiz, was also shot, according to his wife, Liza Blanco.”They were both on their backs. It was very fast. He doesn’t remember much because he was also in shock from the bullet wound,” Blanco told reporters in Spanish. “But thank God he is stable.”Hours before the shooting, Lopez posted a photo of Ortiz posing alongside him, flashing a peace sign. The caption said, “You know that we are from the street.”
Suspects in custody
Multiple people have been detained in connection with the shooting, Durán Mejia said. Investigators are examining evidence in the case, including the suspect’s Bajaj Platina brand motorcycle.
National police have not formally interviewed Ortiz, said spokesman Capt. Luis Manuel Pimentel, adding that the former ballplayer was “pretty beat up.” Police will speak to Ortiz soon, he said.Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, was reared in Santo Domingo and made his Major League Baseball debut in 1997.The first baseman and designated hitter played 20 seasons before retiring in 2016. While Ortiz’s major league career began with the Minnesota Twins, he is best known for his 14 seasons in Boston as the Red Sox’s designated hitter.
In 2004, he helped the Red Sox to their first championship since 1918, ending the so-called “Curse of the Bambino. Fans, mostly tongue-in-cheek, blamed the team’s decades-long championship drought on the 1919 decision to trade legend Babe Ruth, aka the Bambino, to the rival New York Yankees.Ortiz was also on the Red Sox title teams of 2007 and 2013. He was named World Series MVP in 2013.The 2013 championship came just months after the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 200 others. Ortiz emerged as a champion for the city in the bombings’ aftermath, and his tribute to Boston the day after police captured the bomber gained national attention.