Santo Domingo: Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was hospitalised on Monday following surgery for a gunshot wound after being ambushed by a man in a bar in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said.
Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo around 8.50pm on Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. Ortiz was taken to the Abel Gonzalez clinic, where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, Bautista said. Ortiz’s father, Leo, speaking to reporters outside the clinic, said his son was out of danger and there wasn’t any collateral damage, meaning no damage to major organs. He said he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.
“He is out of surgery and stable. He is resting,” Leo Ortiz said. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista said.
Two other people were wounded, Bautista said, including Jhoel Lopez, a Dominican TV host who was with Ortiz. Bautista said police believe Lopez was wounded by the same bullet.
Lopez was shot in the leg and his injuries were not life-threatening, said his wife, Liza Blanco, who is also a TV host.
The 43-year-old Ortiz hit 541 homers in 20 major league seasons, including 14 with the Red Sox. He helped lead Boston to three World Series titles and retired after the 2016 season. He was a 10-time All-Star and World Series MVP in 2013.