Accused gunman says Ortiz was not the intended target

US & World

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (WPRI) — Eight men and one woman have been detained in connection to the shooting of Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz as he continues to recover at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Ortiz, affectionately known by fans as Big Papi, was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Television host Jhoel Lopez was also shot.

Ortiz was rushed to a hospital in Santo Domingo where he underwent emergency surgery. On Monday, the Boston Red Sox sent a plane to transport Ortiz to Boston for a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“He continues to heal and make progress,” his wife Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement. “David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary.”

The suspects were escorted to and from court by SWAT officers and police Friday, with some of the men wearing helmets and bulletproof vests.

The alleged gunman, Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz, recently told reporters that Ortiz was not his intended victim.

Dominican police say Cruz confessed to the shooting that took place last weekend and said it was part of a nearly $8,000 hit job.

From a window in his holding cell, Cruz explained the bullet was not meant for Ortiz and the people who hired him only told him the color of clothing the intended target was wearing.

According to reports, Cruz is also wanted by New Jersey police in connection to two armed robberies in 2017.

Police said they are still searching for another suspect who is also wanted in Pennsylvania on an alleged attempted homicide charge.

The suspects’ motive remains unclear.

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