David Ortiz in stable condition after being shot in Dominican Republic
Retired Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic Sunday, and a suspect has been detained by police, according to Dominican officials and the Red Sox.
Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, around 8:50 p.m. when a gunman who had gotten off a motorcycle approached from behind and shot him at close range, according to the Associated Press. Ortiz was taken to a medical facility where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, Bautista said.
Ortiz’s father, Leo Ortiz, told reporters early Monday that his son was out of danger. The elder Ortiz said he spoke to the doctor who operated on his son, and that no damage was done to his major arteries or organs. He said his son was expected to make a complete recovery. He also said he did not know the motive behind his son’s shooting.
‘‘He is out of surgery and stable; he is resting,’’ Leo Ortiz said, according to the AP. ‘‘Big Papi will be around for a long time.’’
Doctors who treated retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz after he was shot Sunday night in Santo Domingo had to remove part of his intestines, colon, gall bladder and liver, according to published reports.
The outlet Diaro Libre, citing a representative for Ortiz, provided the details on the life-saving measures taken by doctors at Santo Domingo’s Abel Gonzalez clinic.
The Red Sox said in a statement early Monday that the team was aware of the situation, and were offering help to Ortiz and his family.
“Late last 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,” the Red Sox said in the statement. “We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.”
Dionisio Soldevila, who co-hosts a show with ESPN journalist Enrique Rojas, tweeted shortly after midnight that Ortiz’s brother said the former Sox slugger had come out of surgery and was doing OK.
Dice hermano de David Ortiz que ya salio de cirugia y que esta bien.— Dionisio Soldevila (@dSoldevila) June 10, 2019
In a video interview posted by CDN 37, a man at the scene of the shooting said the bullet entered Ortiz’s back and exited his stomach. Surveillance video that was posted on social media by El Nuevo Diario, a Dominican newspaper, appeared to show a man approach Ortiz from behind and fire a gun at his back. In the video, Ortiz collapses from the chair he is sitting on as those around him scatter.
Warning: The following video may contain sensitive material.
Two other people were wounded, Bautista said, including Jhoel López, a Dominican TV host who was with Ortiz, according to the AP. Bautista said police believe López was wounded by the same bullet; Lopez’s wife said he was shot in the leg. Police did not identify the third person or detail that person’s injuries.
The gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, Bautista said, according to the AP. Police were waiting until the man underwent treatment for his injuries before questioning him.
The area where Ortiz was shot is located on Venezuela Avenue in eastern Santo Domingo, a bustling nightlife district packed with dance clubs and expensive bars, according to the AP.
Efforts to reach Ortiz’s representatives were not immediately successful.
Pedro Martinez, Ortiz’s friend and former teammate, posted an update on Twitter saying Ortiz was out of danger.
“You are a strong man [friend], can’t wait to hear your voice,” Martinez wrote. “My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon.”
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.— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) June 10, 2019
Me siento tranquilo de saber que estás fuera de peligro, usted es fuerte Compai, ya quiero oírle la voz. Orando, nos vemos pronto pic.twitter.com/jdSnNsM7eI
Rojas, the ESPN journalist, reported that Ortiz’s father described the incident as initially confusing.
“They called to tell me that David is injured and that they took him to a medical center, but they did not tell me how he is or exactly where he was transferred,” Leo Ortiz, who is also in the Dominican Republic, initially told ESPN.
Ortiz, 43, retired from baseball after the 2016 season and took a position with the Red Sox as a special assistant to the Fenway Sports Group. He also has worked for Fox Sports as a studio analyst before and after postseason games and has other business interests.
Since 2017, Ortiz has lived in Miami with his wife, Tiffany, and two of their three children. He also has a home in the Dominican Republic and spends time there.
Ortiz played 20 seasons in the majors, hitting .286 with 541 home runs and 1,768 RBIs. He was a member of three World Series championship teams with the Sox and a 10-time All-Star.
Peter Abraham and Michael Vega of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Sophia Eppolito contributed to this report.