Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new information from police about the suspects. The man under arrest was allegedly the motorcycle driver, not the gunman.
Red Sox legend David Ortiz has organs removed after being shot; suspect in custody
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — Doctors removed David Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as “Big Papi” was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday. Leo López said that the retired athlete’s liver was also damaged and that he was in stable condition in intensive care.Ortiz, 43, is one of the most popular figures in sports history in the Dominican Republic and Boston, a fearsome power hitter with a ready smile. He led the Red Sox to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All-Star and hit 541 home runs.
Dozens of fans had crowded the hospital in Santo Domingo where Ortiz was being treated, causing a traffic jam. In the U.S., fans prayed for his recovery. Monday evening, Ortiz left the hospital on a charter flight to continue his recovery at a Boston hospital. “He’s a great friend to the city of Boston,” Sheila Kieran said. New England Patriots star Julian Edelman joined the throngs of pro sports figures who took to social media to wish Ortiz well, assuring him on Instagram: “Papi, all of New England has your back.”Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on Sunday night when a gunman approached from behind and shot him, said National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte.In surveillance video, a motorcyclist can be seen approaching the group from behind, and then Ortiz was shot in the back, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports. Police say it was “nearly point-blank range.”The motorcycle driver was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, and police were waiting for him to undergo treatment for his injuries before questioning him, authorities said. Investigators said they were trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target.Police identified the detained man as Eddy Feliz Garcia. They told CBS News they are looking for a second suspect who they believe pulled the trigger.Ortiz’s father, Leo, told reporters he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son. “He is resting,” the elder Ortiz said. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”The Red Sox said in a statement that Ortiz was wounded in the “lower back/abdominal region” and that the team offered his family “all available resources to aid in his recovery.”