Red Sox star David Ortiz moved out of intensive care as authorities question mistaken identity theory in shooting
Former Red Sox player David Ortiz is finally out of intensive care after he was shot by a gunman two weeks ago. His wife, Tiffany Ortiz, issued a statement via the Red Sox stating that the designated hitter remains at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is in good condition. According to CNN, Ortiz was shot in the lower back on June 9 in a crowded bar in Santa Domingo. The bullet passed through perforating his internal organs and intestine and hit his friend, Jhoel Lopez, a TV talk-show host, in the leg.
Following his surgery in the Dominican Republic, Ortiz underwent a second operation in Boston. Dominican Republic authorities have now claimed that Ortiz was not the target, but his friend, Sixto David Fernandez, who shared the table with the baseman. A recent report published in the New York Post suggested that many in the DR felt the gunman mistook Ortiz for the slugger's pal.
"They don't look alike at all," Santo Domingo sports reporter Bienvenido Rojas told CNN. "Some people will tell you that even a breastfeeding infant can identify David Ortiz."
Fernandez was with Ortiz and Lopez at a popular night spot, Dial Bar and Lounge, when the Red Sox player was hit. Authorities say that the suspected shooter, Rolfi Ferrers Cruz, intended to kill Fernandez, but shot Ortiz instead. "A lot of people don’t believe it, but I go with what the national authorities say," said 72-year old Luis Mercedes, who watched a young Ortiz develop his skills decades ago.
According to the police, both Ortiz and Fernandez were dressed similarly, although the latter was smaller and thinner. Meanwhile, another report said that the gang's accused wheelman, Franklin Junior Meran, knew beforehand that Fernandez was the one who had to be taken out. Fernandez was targeted for revenge by his fugitive cousin, Hugo Gomez Vasquez, an accused drug dealer after he suspected that Fernandez had ratted him out to the police.
Eleven people are in custody for the botched-up job. Meanwhile, Ortiz continues to recover. Now retired, Ortiz also nicknamed "Big Papi" spent 14 seasons with Red Sox and was a 10-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner.