Baseball legend David Ortiz back in Boston in stable condition after being shot in a Dominican Republic bar
Authorities in the Dominican Republic believe that Ortiz was shot by two police officers hired by a local drug lord who believed that the baseball star was having an affair with his wife
Baseball legend David Ortiz arrived in Boston aboard a Red Sox team plane and was rushed to a hospital on Monday, June 10, one day after he was shot in the back while at a nightclub in the Dominican Republic. The former slugger was transported from the Logan Airport in Boston to Massachusetts General Hospital by ambulance with a police escort. Ortiz was listed as being in stable condition in the ICU of a hospital in the Dominican Republic earlier on Monday after surgery for the gunshot wounds.
An ESPN reporter tweeted later that afternoon that Dr. Abel Gonzalez, who performed the surgery in the Dominican Republic, said that Ortiz was in a stable enough condition to travel. Images showed Ortiz being taken from the team plane into an ambulance, which received a police escort as it made its way towards the hospital.
The first photograph showing "Big Papi" lying in a hospital bed in the Dominican Republic after he was shot on Sunday evening emerged. The image, which was posted on Instagram, shows Ortiz connected to a machine while he can be seen lying sedated in a bed with a white blanket on top of him. Executives from the Boston Red Sox said that they sent a team plane to the Dominican Republic in order to retrieve Ortiz and fly him back to Massachusetts.
Red Sox president and CEO, Sam Kennedy, said in a statement on Monday, June 10, that Ortiz will be admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital in the West End section of the city. He said in a press conference: "I love David Ortiz. We all love David Ortiz. Telling my kids last night what happened was really difficult. It’s hard to express what David Ortiz means to the Boston Red Sox."
He then said that the Red Sox will be assisting the Ortiz family in any way that they might be needed. Kennedy said: "We all remember that in 2013 when we needed David Ortiz the most, he was there for us in late April. And so it's appropriate and expected that this community would rally around David when he needs us the most."
Ortiz has been credited with helping the city recover from the devastating Boston Marathon bombing that took place in April 2013. Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters: "He is a superhero without a cape. That’s the way we see him. I always said that he’s bigger than life, David."
He continued: "He’ll give you a hug, a big smile, he does it with everybody. He does it with my daughter and my kids. So it's been a tough one. I just hope when he gets here everything is fine and we can see the big man again with us filling a room with joy."
Before his team played against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on June 10, players and fans in the stadium observed a moment of silence in honor of the legend. The public address announcer at Fenway Park said: "All of us were shocked by last night’s news about David Ortiz. Our community has felt a palpable concern ever since."
"As befits his outsized personality, wishes for a speedy recovery have poured in from all over baseball, from the world of sports, and even from respected world leaders. He is loved throughout our nation and beyond, yet, to us, he is our own adopted son. Won't you please join us as we offer a moment of reflection, thought, and prayer for a complete healing and a full recovery for our beloved Big Papi."
Authorities in the Dominican Republic believe that Ortiz was shot by two police officers who had been hired by a local drug lord who believed that the baseball star was having an affair with his wife. The drug lord is yet to be named. Leo Lopez, Ortiz's representative, denied that the shooting had anything to do with a woman but did say that it was the act of "hired" killers.
He told Diario Libre: "There is no doubt that it was an act of hired killers. If we had known that there was a dangerous situation, he would not have been there at that moment." Ortiz is expected to make a full recovery but has suffered liver damage during the six-hour long operation.
Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on Sunday night when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range in the torso, authorities said. The operator of the motorcycle that was carrying the gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, authorities said. Twitter shared several videos on the site showing a bloodied suspect who was beaten up by the mob. The tweet identified him as Eddy Feliz Garcia.
With AP inputs.