Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range Sunday night 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 8:50 p.m. local time when the gunman approached from behind and shot him. Ortiz was taken to a medical facility where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, Bautista said.
The gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, Bautista said. He said police are waiting until the man undergoes treatment for his injuries before questioning him.
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.
Police did not identify the third person or detail that person’s injuries.
The Dial Bar and Lounge is located in eastern Santo Domingo on Venezuela Avenue, a bustling nightlife district packed with dance clubs and pricey bars that Ortiz is known to frequent. Ortiz, who lives at least part of the year in the Dominican, is often seen getting his cars washed and hanging out with friends including other baseball players, artists and entertainers.
Ortiz’s father, Leo, said authorities informed him about the shooting but didn’t provide details.
“They called to tell me that David is injured and that they took him to a medical centre, but they did not tell me how he is or exactly where he was transferred,” Leo Ortiz told ESPN.com.
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 two-time World Series MVP, in 2004 and 2013.