Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested and charged nine suspects as accomplices in the shooting of former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz in an attack at a nightclub on Sunday.
The eight men and one woman were charged in the shooting of Ortiz and television host, Jhoel Lopez in Santo Domingo, the local prosecutor's office said.
All nine suspects appeared in court on Thursday while a 10th suspect reportedly remains on the run.
The accused gunman, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, 25, is also wanted by New Jersey authorities for two armed robberies in 2017, Dominican prosecutors say. The first arrest in the case, of suspect Eddy Féliz Garcia, came on Sunday. Féliz Garcia is accused of driving Cruz to the club on the back of a motorcycle; he was held down by witnesses and viciously beaten shortly after the brazen shooting.
Féliz Garcia and Cruz reportedly tried to leave on the motorcycle after the shooting, but it fell to the pavement. Cruz fled and was arrested days later. Féliz Garcia's attorneys said he is a motorcycle taxi driver and may have unwittingly driven the shooter, but he did not shoot Ortiz.
The nine arrests came after investigators spoke with Féliz Garcia at a hospital, police said. Investigators found the firearm allegedly used in the shooting buried in the home of one of the suspects near the city of Mao, police said.
The relationship between the suspects is unclear, as is the motive for the attempted murder.
The bullet that hit Ortiz went in his back straight through his stomach, damaging his intestines and liver. Following a reported three-hour surgery in the Dominican Republic, the Red Sox sent an air ambulance to transfer Ortiz to Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday, the day after the shooting. He's since been receiving medical support after undergoing another surgery.
"He is out of surgery and stable; he is resting," Ortiz's father, Leo Ortiz, confirmed. "Big Papi will be around for a long time."
Jhoel Lopez, the TV show host who was also shot, is recovering, his wife said.
Ortiz's wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said in a statement via the Red Sox that Ortiz "remains in guarded condition in the surgical intensive care unit following his second surgery. He continues to heal and make progress. David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will eb provided when necessary."0comments
She also thanked the man who she says is responsible for saving Ortiz's life. "I want to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Eliezer Salvador, owner of Presidente Sports, for your quick thinking and swift action on Sunday night. Your heroism and selflessness were the first steps to ensuring David could get the urgent care he required. For that, we are eternally grateful," Tiffany said in the statement.
"To the amazing surgeons, medical team, and staff at the Abel González Clinic in the Dominican Republic, there are no words to express our gratitude for the amazing care you provided. Without you, our story could have a tragic ending. You will forever be our guardian angels."
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