David Ortiz has spoken up for the first time since a shooting left him seriously injured earlier this year. The former Red Sox player was hit in a shooting in a Dominican nightclub back in June, and he told reporters that he has no idea where the attack came from.
"I don't have enemies. I don't know why anyone would want to do this to me," he told Univision.
Ortiz gave separate interviews with Univision and the Boston Globe, opening up for the first time three months after his attack. He discussed the physical and logistical consequences of his attack, as well as the emotional weight left by it.
"I almost died, man," he said, close to tears. "I was in a coma. People were criticizing me as if I deserved to be killed."
Ortiz was hit in the back in the shooting, which took place on June 9 in the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Ortiz was reportedly ambushed by the gunman, and said that he felt a "burning sensation" as the wound came over him.
The 43-year-old was rushed into surgery for the gunshot wound. He had his gallbladder and part of his intestines removed in the Dominican Republic, and was then flown to Boston for the remainder of his treatment. He told the Globe that he did not care for the romanticizing of his situation.
"People need to understand, this isn't a movie where you get shot in the street and you're back two minutes later," he said. "No, I got shot and almost died. I only have one life to live. I can't just go to the pharmacy and buy another one."
Ortiz told the Globe that he "started losing hope" early on in his recovery process, when he developed a serious bacterial infection. It was slow-going, and he remained in the intensive care unit until June 22. It was not until July 26 that he was finally released from Massachussetts General Hospital altogether.
As for the shooter, Ortiz is going after them with everything he has. He told reporters that he had hired former Boston Police Commissioner and current CBS Boston security analyst Ed Davis to investigate the attack. So far, a dozen people have been arrested, and Dominican police say that Ortiz was not the intended target.
"I want to find out who did this," Ortiz told the Globe. "I'm not going to sit around and chill if there's somebody out there who wants to kill me."
In the meantime, Ortiz is finding his way back to everyday life. He threw the first pitch at the Red Sox game in Boston on Monday, and he plans to return to work at Fox Sports in October. He will reportedly be fully recovered by Thanksgiving.
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