Former Boston Red Sox superstar David Ortiz was hospitalized to treat injuries sustained via gunshot wound following an incident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday night, his family and the Red Sox have confirmed. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, Dominican National police director, announced that Ortiz is in stable condition following emergency surgery.
The Red Sox released the following statement:
Late [Sunday] night we were made aware of an incident involving David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. David's family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery.
We have offered David's family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy made the following statement during a press conference at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon:
The events of last night shook our Red Sox family to its core. David Ortiz is one of the most celebrated and beloved members of the Red Sox family. On behalf of the entire organization, our thoughts and our prayers are with David. Please know we are doing everything we can to support David and his family during this very difficult period.
Our medical team in Boston and doctors in the Dominican Republic have confirmed that David's condition is still serious but he is stable enough to be transported back to Boston for continued care ... The club has arranged for a medical team to transport David to Boston from Santo Domingo. Our hope is that David will arrive in Boston later tonight. Out of respect for David's privacy, I don't have any more details about David's medical condition.
"(Ortiz's family) got back to me this morning. Stable, recovering, and it looks like everything is going to be OK," former Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks said Monday morning on CBS Sports HQ. "... As it looks right now, surgery went well, from what I'm being told. He's got a little bit of recovery ahead of him, but he's going to be OK."
Ortiz's father, Leo, confirmed his son was shot once, according to an ESPN report. The bullet penetrated through Ortiz's back and exited out through his stomach.
Marly Rivera of ESPN and Elisha Fieldstadt of NBC News pass along word from Leo Lopez, Ortiz's assistant and press representative, that Ortiz's surgery ended at 3:30 a.m. local time. Doctors had to remove his gallbladder and part of his intestine during the surgery. Part of his liver was damaged as well. Despite the injuries, Leo Ortiz said a full recovery is expected.
"Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God," Ortiz's father, Leo Ortiz, told ESPN. "What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly."
Leo Ortiz added: "Big Papi will be around for a long time.''
The incident took place at a lounge in the eastern part of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. At least one person responsible for the incident is in local police custody. The incident was initially described as a attempted robbery, but security footage surfaced on social media that is alleged to show what appeared to have been an ambush.
Police in the Dominican Republic are saying the gunshot wound suffered by David Ortiz was not from an attempted robbery, as initially speculated. Alleged video of the incident shows a man walking up to a bar, aiming almost point blank and firing a gun. https://t.co/lFSmXaylum— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 10, 2019
Two others were wounded during the attack, including Dominican television host Jhoel Lopez, possibly by the same bullet that passed through Ortiz.
ESPN reports the attacker has been identified as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia. He was captured and beaten by a crowd at the venue, and suffered injuries to his head and legs. He was treated at a local hospital before being released into police custody.
Ortiz, 42, was born and raised in Santo Domingo and is considered a legendary figure in his native Dominican Republic. His main residence is in the Boston area, but he does charity work and has business interests in his native country.
"He is The Guy in the Dominican Republic," Red Sox executive vice president and assistant general manager Eddie Romero said at Monday's press conference. "He's more famous than any president. People think of the Dominican Republic, they think David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez. And that's coming from someone who has been exposed to the Dominican Republic over the years. They love him and it comes from the way he treats people."
As of 10:20 p.m. ET, the Red Sox announced that Ortiz is now in Boston after being flown in via air ambulance. Here's where he's headed:
In parts of 20 MLB seasons, Ortiz hit .286 with 541 home runs. He was a 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion with the Red Sox.
Here is what is being reported:
- Ortiz was shot once in the lower back. The bullet exited through his abdomen.
- Incident took place at a bar/lounge in Ortiz's native Dominican Republic.
- Ortiz underwent emergency surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
- During the surgery, Ortiz's gallbladder and a piece of his intestine were removed.
- Ortiz is traveling to Boston on Monday and continue his recover at Massachusetts General Hospital.
- A suspect was beaten by a crowd at the venue and is now in police custody.
- Two others were wounded during the attack, including Dominican television host Jhoel Lopez.
- Security camera footage shows the attack was not an attempted robbery, but perhaps an ambush.