SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The office of the attorney general here apologized to a CNN reporter Wednesday night, following a testy exchange that took place during a press conference on the David Ortiz shooting at a nightclub.
“Please accept our considerations and sincere apology for the confusion generated at the press conference,” begins the letter sent to CNN’s Havana Bureau Chief Patrick Oppmann, which he posted on Twitter.
Oppmann, who has been in Santo Domingo covering the shooting, asked Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez about discrepancies between court documents in the case and Wednesday’s stunning disclosure that the intended target of the hired attack was not Ortiz, but a man named Sixto David Fernandez.
In court documents released Monday, law enforcement officials claimed that Ortiz was “tracked” to the Dial Bar and Lounge on the night of the shooting.
“Where did you see that?” Rodriguez asked Oppmann during the press conference before asserting that he had read it in a newspaper.
“Nope, I have the documents,” Oppmann replied.
Rodriguez said the documents refer to an unnamed target being tracked, but Oppmann replied that the documents specify Ortiz and offered to show the document in question.
Rodriguez then shut down the line of questioning, saying, “It has already been answered.”
In its apology, prosecutors said the court documents were filed before evidence emerged about Fernandez.
“Up until that moment, the theory of the case proposed that the target was the victim, David Ortiz,” they wrote.
Tonight I received letter from the Dominican Attorney General apologizing and offering an explanation for why officials in court records said suspects were “following” Ortiz. Now they say another man was the target. pic.twitter.com/kic1Mw7ttu— Patrick Oppmann CNN (@CNN_Oppmann) June 20, 2019
The letter also sought to clarify the assertion that Ortiz and his friend, Jhoel López, were tracked to the bar the night of June 9.
“This can have many interpretations,” prosecutors wrote. Prosecutors meant to say that the bar itself was being monitored, not that Ortiz was followed there.
Milciades Guzman, the district attorney for Eastern Santo Domingo, said Wednesday that a break in the case led law enforcement officials to Fernandez.
Guzman said the documents stated that suspects were monitoring Ortiz because he was the only potential target they had at that time.
“At the end of the investigation, we were able to prove that he wasn’t the victim who was followed,” he said.
Authorities have arrested 11 people in connection to the shooting plot, but several more remain at large. On Wednesday, officials urged the fugitives to turn themselves in, warning that they will work tirelessly to capture them all.
Aimee Ortiz can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz. David Abel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davabel.