Gunmen who attempted to kill David Ortiz were paid almost $8,000 for the crime, according to new evidence.
The pro-baseball legend, also known as “Big papi,” was shot at a nightclub in the Dominican Republic on June 9. Police said that they arrested six people in connection with the crime, but that at least one person was still at large, TMZ reported.
Two men drove up to the club on a motorcycle on June 9, TMZ reported. One of them fired a shot that hit Ortiz’s lower back. The pair then attempted to escape on motorcycle, but the bike fell and the men tried to run. One of them, the suspected shooter, got away, only to be arrested by police later. His alleged accomplice was beaten bloody by witnesses in the area and then taken in by police.
Police identified the alleged shooter as 25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, and also released a photo of the gun they believed was used to shoot Ortiz. They added that the attack was highly orchestrated and involved two other vehicles in addition to the motorcycle.
Ortiz underwent surgery on June 9, while still in the Dominican Republic. Surgeons said they removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and parts of his intestines. Ortiz was later flown to Boston and underwent a second procedure.
Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany, released a statement on Wednesday on her husband’s condition.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) June 13, 2019
“His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery,” wrote Tiffany Ortiz via the Twitter account for the Boston Red Sox.
TMZ also reported that Tiffany had said that David was able to sit upright and take steps.
When Ortiz was shot, the owner of a local sports betting company who was at the scene had helped rush him to the hospital so he wouldn’t have to wait for an ambulance.
“”I want to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Eliezer Salvador, owner of Presidente Sports, for your quick thinking and swift action on Sunday night,” Tiffany Ortiz said, via the Red Sox tweet. “Your heroism and selflessness were the first steps to ensuring David could get the urgent care he required. For that we are eternally grateful.”
Salvador put Ortiz in his car and raced at speeds over 100 miles per hour.
He got “Big Papi” to the hospital in under seven minutes, TMZ reported.
Ortiz’s Baseball Legacy
Ortiz played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball. He started his pro career with the Minnesota Twins, and migrated to the Boston Red Sox in 2003 where he stayed until he finished his career, according to the MLB.
Ortiz was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, which is where the attempt on his life took place, The New York Times reported. Ortiz was praised in Boston for his baseball abilities that had helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years in 2004.
Ortiz retired from baseball winning the World Series three times with the Boston Red Sox, and as a 10-time all-star, the NY Times reported.
So proud to rep BOSTON the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD!! 11 titles aint bad this century (right New York?? ????) Get your shirt today +! help me raise $ for kids in need #thisisourcentury @davidortizfund https://t.co/DbOzDfapks pic.twitter.com/htcnb5wWbz
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) December 2, 2018
Ortiz lives in Miami, but often visits the Dominican Republic, where he still has family. He is known for sometimes heading out on the streets of Santo Domingo with little or no security. He returned to the island recently for business, charity work, and to train with his son, according to the NY Times.
It remains unclear who was ultimately behind the murder attempt or their motive.