‘Mistaken identity’: Baseball legend Ortiz caught up in drug gang shooting, officials say
Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic in a case of mistaken identity, local officials have said.
The Major League Baseball legend, nicknamed ‘Big Papi’, was shot in the back in the outdoor area of a club in Santo Domingo on June 9.
The 43-year-old Dominican-American is recovering in a hospital in Boston, after having his gallbladder and part of his intestine removed in emergency surgery.
Officials have now confirmed the baseball icon was caught up in a gangland hit attempt.
The intended target of the attack was Ortiz’s friend, Sixto David Fernandez, who was with him at the time of the shooting, Dominican attorney general Jean Alain Rodríguez said on Wednesday.
The man suspected of ordering the attempted hit was named as Victor Hugo Gomez, who is a cousin of Fernandez and allegedly has links to Mexico’s Gulf Cartel drug gang.
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Eleven suspects have so far been arrested in relation to the case, including the alleged gunman, Rolfy Ferreyra.
Ferreyra is believed to have mistaken three-time World Series winner Ortiz for Fernandez based on the clothing he was wearing in a blurry photo he was given when the hit was organized.
Fernandez was reportedly attempting to take out his cousin after he informed on him to drug investigators in 2011.
Ortiz retired from baseball in 2016 after a career spanning two decades, during which he was World Series MVP in 2013 and a 10-time All Star.