SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Former Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was shot in the back by a gunman who mistook him for the real target, another man who was seated at the same table at an outdoor cafe, Dominican officials said Wednesday.
The Dominican Republic’s attorney general and national police director told reporters that the attempted murder was ordered from the United States by Victor Hugo Gomez, an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.
The cousin, Sixto David Fernández, was seated with the former baseball player on the night of June 9, when a gunman approached and fired a single shot at Ortiz, the officials said. Fernández owned an auto-repair shop and was friends with Ortiz, according to Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez and Maj. Gen. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, director of the Dominican Republic’s national police.
Ortiz remains hospitalized in Boston, where doctors have upgraded his condition from guarded to good.
At least 11 people have been arrested in the case, ranging from the alleged gunman to a series of drivers and relatively minor accomplices. Rodríguez and Bautista said the case of mistaken identity began when one of the accomplices shot a blurry photo of Fernández seated at the Dial Bar and Lounge in an upscale section of Santo Domingo. In the photo, a white freezer obscures Fernández’s lower body.
Ortiz was wearing white pants on the night of the shooting and the law-enforcement official said that the gunman, Rolfy Ferreyra, mistook him for the target and fired.
U.S. prosecutors said Ferreyra, 25, is wanted on armed-robbery and gun charges in New Jersey. His driver was captured immediately after the shooting when he fell off the motorcycle he was trying to use to escape. Ferreyra and the other suspects were captured over the next few days.
Gomez, the alleged mastermind, is believed to be in the U.S. and is being sought by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bautista said.
Ortiz led the Red Sox to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All Star and hit 541 home runs. The Red Sox retired his number, 34, in 2017, and he has a bridge and a stretch of road outside Fenway Park named after him.
Danica Coto is an Associated Press writer.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Dominican-AG-Davis-Ortiz-shooting-result-of-14021481.php.