Dominican Republic authorities are now saying that David Ortiz was not the intended target of a gunman in his hometown of Santo Domingo on June 9.
Another man, identified as Sixto David Fernandez, who was sitting at the same table as Ortiz and wearing similar clothing, is believed to be the actual target of alleged mastermind Victor Hugo Gomez.
In a press conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic authorities said that David Ortiz was *not* in fact the target of last Sunday’s shooting and it was someone else at the same table.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 19, 2019
This is the alleged mastermind of the shooting. D.R. authorities said Victor Hugo Gomez is a wanted criminal in the U.S. The alleged intended target was Sixto David Fernandez, who was sitting at the same table as David Ortiz and wearing similar clothing. https://t.co/X8V4jUbp9A— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 19, 2019
The shocking new information was revealed during a press conference held Wednesday. All previous information pointed to Ortiz being the target.
The new information sheds a whole new light on the incident. It also raises new questions. Like how could someone possibly misidentify Ortiz, who’s a well known and highly recognizable figure in home country and especially his hometown.
Authorities attempted to explain what the confusion stemmed from.
Authorities said photo sent from bar to sicarios that night was taken under poor lighting & caused confusion. (Ortiz was shot in the back.) Authorities received many questions about how someone as known & big as Ortiz could be confused w/ another, regardless of similar shirts.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 19, 2019
For the first time, authorities also revealed a motive for the shooting.
Authorities said the alleged target was wanted by Victor Hugo Gomez because he thought he'd talked and gotten him imprisoned. https://t.co/EM2ISECE0P— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 19, 2019
On Tuesday, Dominican prosecutors identified Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota as the man who allegedly paid a group of hitman to shoot Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. Mota remained a fugitive from justice.
The Associated Press also reported that Gabriel Alexánder Pérez Vizcaíno is accused of being the liaison between Mota, the alleged hit men and another suspect who had reportedly sent a photo from prison identifying the target.
In total, 10 suspects have been arrested in connection to the shooting. That includes alleged gunman Rolfi Ferreira Cruz.
Ortiz continues his recovery in a Boston hospital. On Tuesday, his wife, Tiffany, revealed that although Ortiz remains in intensive care, his condition has been upgraded to “good.”
“We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston,” Tiffany said. “David’s journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time.”
Ortiz underwent emergency surgery in the Dominican Republic before being airlifted to Boston for further medical care. While all signs look positive, there’s still a long road to recovery ahead for one of MLB’s most beloved figures.
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