David Big Papi Ortiz is Ex-Boston Red Sox star who was shot in a Dominican Republic bar by two cops hired by a drug lord
Police in the Dominican Republic believe former Boston Red Sox star David 'Big Papi' Ortiz was shot by two cops hired by a Dominican Republic drug lord who believed the baseball player was having an affair with his wife, DailyMail.com has learned.
The former slugger for the Red Sox was shot in the back at near point-blank range while having drinks with friends including local TV host Jhoel Lopez.
What was the motive
Ex-Boston Red Sox star David 'Big Papi' Ortiz was shot in a Dominican Republic bar by 'two cops hired by a drug lord who believed the baseball hero was having an affair with his wife'
Initial reports suggested that it was an attempted robbery but police have since dismissed that.
Three law enforcement sources confirmed the motive on Monday as Ortiz, 43, recovered in the hospital.
Police have arrested Eddy Feliz Garcia so far but their investigation is ongoing. Garcia was chased down at the bar by a crowd of Ortiz's supporters and was beaten relentlessly until police arrived.
He was driving the motorcycle but is not the man who pulled the trigger. The shooter, who has not yet been named, is also in custody.
In a video widely shared on social media afterwards, Garcia is filmed claiming not to know anything about the attack.
In Spanish, the crowd yells at him: 'You don't know anything? You don't know anything?'
On Monday, Ortiz's representative Leo Lopez denied that the shooting had anything to do with a woman but said it was the act of 'hired' killers.
'There is no doubt that it was an act of hired killers. says Leo Lopez
'If we had known that there was a dangerous situation, he would not have been there at that moment,' Leo Lopez told Diario Libre.
Ortiz is expected to make a full recovery but suffered liver damage during the six-hour operation, his spokesman said.
He has been cleared for travel and will fly back to Boston on a plane provided by his old team on Monday once it is ready.
'The level of stability that Big Papi is showing at this moment makes it possible for him to travel immediately,' one of the doctors involved in his care told ESPN.
His Playing Career
Ortiz, who retired from baseball in 2016, is from the Dominican Republic and splits his time between the city of Santo Domingo, where the attack happened, and Miami where he lives with his wife and children.
Ortiz is beloved in the Dominican Republic, where he is well-known for his charity work with children.
In 2007, Ortiz founded the David Ortiz Children's Fund to help children with cardiac disorders in both the Dominican Republic and New England.
Ortiz ended his 20-year big league career in 2016, when he earned the last of his 10 All-Star appearances.
The former designated hitter and first baseman won seven Silver Slugger awards in his career, and he hit 541 home runs with 1,768 RBIs in 2,408 games in the majors.
He ranks 17th in major league history ion career home runs.
Ortiz began his major league career by playing six seasons for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002), but his career blossomed after he joined the Red Sox.
His postseason heroics helped Boston capture its first World Series title in 86 years in 2004, when he was the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series as the Red Sox overcame a 3-0 series deficit to the New York Yankees in seven games.
He also helped the Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013, capturing World Series MVP honors in the latter season.
He is well known in Santo Domingo and is known to frequent the bars and restaurants where the attack happened.
Before he was shot, he and Lopez were seen with other men drinking and smoking cigars.
He was sitting at a table with Lopez when the gunman approached him on the back of a motorcycle and shot him in the back.
Doing well after Surgery
His father said on Monday that he was doing well after the operation.
'Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God. What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly.
'Big Papi will be around for a long time,' Leo Ortiz told ESPN.
Lopez told Diario Libre via a WhatsApp message: 'I am well. I am recuperating.'
The Red Sox have offered to send a private plane to return Ortiz to medical facilities in the U.S. if needed.
Ortiz previously told of his fears of being hurt in his home country.
Before a 2015 ballgame at Fenway Park, he told a Dominican journalist that he violence in his native country was out of control and that he didn’t feel comfortable carrying a firearm to protect himself in public.
'This is getting out of hand. I think they need to deal strongly because I like going to my country and I know the people love you and take care of you.
'But you know that when those dudes are out to get theirs, they are not thinking right and they could care less who is who.
'And I don’t want to carry an AK-47 inside my car over there. I don’t want to walk around everywhere with a bunch of guns. I am not a gun carrier.
'I am not a guy looking for trouble. But that's what the (present) moment is demanding you to do,' he said.
The shooting sparked an outpouring of support from both former teammates and former opponents.
'I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice.
'My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon,' tweeted Pedro Martinez, a former Red Sox pitcher from the Dominican Republic who was an inspiration for Ortiz on his path to MLB.
'Anxiously waiting for more news. In the meantime, only prayers for @davidortiz, Tiffany and their family,' tweeted Alex Rodriguez, former slugger for the arch-rival New York Yankees.
'Thoughts and prayers going out to @davidortiz,' wrote current Angels star Mike Trout.