David Ortiz, one of the most popular players in Boston Red Sox history, was shot in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday night.
According to a statement released by the Dominican National Police on Monday morning, Ortiz was at a bar in Santo Domingo, the capital of the country, when he was shot in the back by an attacker on a motorcycle. The 43-year-old was later taken to a local hospital for surgery, and he is now in stable condition.
Amid a flurry of news reports late Sunday and into early Monday, here’s the latest on Ortiz’s condition and what we know about the shooting.
Where and when did the shooting occur?
According to The Associated Press, Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte told reporters that Ortiz was shot at approximately 8:50 p.m. on Sunday at Dial Bar and Lounge. The bar is located east of downtown Santo Domingo, just off Venezuela Avenue — a stretch filled with bars and restaurants.
Dial Bar and Lounge describes itself on Facebook as “an elegant, pleasant and comfortable place,” and a good place to relax while waiting for services at the similarly-named car shop, Dial Auto Detailing, across the street.
The Associated Press reported that Ortiz lives for part of the year in the Dominican Republic. He grew up in the Santo Domingo area.
What do we know about Ortiz’s injuries?
Bautista described the shooting to The Associated Press and others as an ambush, in which Ortiz was approached from behind and shot at close range.
Though initial reports claimed Ortiz had been shot in the leg, official sources — including the Red Sox — said the wound was actually in his torso. The team described the location of Ortiz’s gunshot wound as being in the “lower back/abdominal region.”
“The bullet went through his stomach,” Felix Durán Mejia, a spokesperson for the Dominican National Police, told CNN.
What’s the latest on Ortiz’s condition?
Bautista, the police director, told reporters that Ortiz was transported to the Abel Gonzalez clinic, where he underwent surgery and is now in stable condition.
Leo Lopez, a spokesperson for Ortiz, told ESPN that the surgery lasted six hours and involved three different doctors.
“Doctors say he is out of danger, but he is heavily sedated and will be in intensive care for the next 24 hours,” Lopez told the network.
ESPN also reported that Ortiz suffered liver damage, and doctors “had to remove part of Ortiz’s intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder.”
“He is out of surgery and stable. He is resting,” Ortiz’s father, Leo, told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”
Who is responsible for the shooting?
The National Police said in its statement that authorities have in their possession a motorcycle used by two suspects involved in the incident.
“One of the motorcycle riders came to the nightclub district and fired one shot that struck the former baseball player and his companion, after which they tried to escape on the motorcycle, falling to the pavement,” the statement reads.
“One of those involved managed to escape on foot, while the other, identified as Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, was detained by the crowd, who hit him and handed him over to the authorities.”
Bautista, the police director, told reporters that authorities would wait for Garcia, 25, to receive treatment before questioning him about the incident. Police are conducting an investigation into the incident and trying to determine if Ortiz was specifically targeted.
Periódico Hoy, a Dominican newspaper, reported that police are not investigating the incident as a robbery because it does not immediately appear that there was an effort to steal anything from Ortiz.
How did the sports world react?
Longtime MLB stars Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Trout were among the wave of people in the baseball community who offered their thoughts and prayers to Ortiz on social media into the early hours of Monday morning.
“Anxiously waiting for more news,” Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.
“Pull thru Big Papi,” added Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
In another tweet, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Blake Swihart, whose younger brother died unexpectedly in February, harkened back to that moment and how Ortiz helped him through tragedy.
“A guy who takes care of people all over the world and has made an impact on so many,” Swihart wrote on Twitter. “Was there for me with my brother and he will be back being Big Papi! Thoughts and Prayers from my family to you and yours!”
— USA TODAY SPORTS