Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic and remains in intensive care following surgery to remove parts of his organs to stop internal bleeding.
CNN reported that Ortiz underwent surgery Sunday night to remove “portions of his organs” to stop the bleeding. He was reportedly “bleeding from his liver,” according to his assistant Leo Lopez, and had “portions of his intestines, colon and his gallbladder” removed as well. A spokesperson for the Dominican Republic National Police (DRNP) told CNN that Ortiz is currently in stable condition and “out of danger.”
Initial reports indicated the shooting may have been part of a robbery, but Lopez told the outlet he was sure “it was not a robbery,” but didn’t know the true motive. He said neither he nor Ortiz knew the man who has been identified as a suspect and taken into police custody. Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia has been identified as one of the suspects. Garcia was injured by other clubgoers after the shooting and was treated for his wounds before being transferred to police. Another suspect is still at large.
Surveillance footage from the club where Ortiz was shot show him slumping over and falling to the floor. DRNP said in a statement translated by CNN that two men riding a motorcycle approached Ortiz before shooting him. Ortiz’s friend, talk show host Jhoel Lopez, was also injured in the attack. Lopez had posted a photo of himself and Ortiz to Instagram just hours before the shooting.
The Red Sox released a statement after the shooting regarding Ortiz:
Late last night we were made aware of an incident involving David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. David’s family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery.
We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.
MLB also tweeted support for Ortiz, writing their “thoughts are with” him. Former teammate Pedro Martinez also posted a heartfelt tweet for his friend, writing:
I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice. My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon.
Ortiz, also known as “Big Papi,” played 20 seasons for Major League Baseball, 14 of which were for the Boston Red Sox, before retiring in 2016.