After former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in the back in the Dominican Republic, reports surfaced that he was the target of a hit by a drug lord who thought Ortiz was having an affair with his girlfriend.
Now, authorities are saying something totally different.
The Dominican Republic’s attorney general said this week that Ortiz was not the target at all, and that him being shot was a case of mistaken identity. ESPN reports:
The Dominican Republic’s attorney general and national police director told reporters that the attempted murder was ordered from the United States by Victor Hugo Gomez, an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.
The cousin, Sixto David Fernandez, was seated with the former baseball star on the night of June 9, when a gunman approached and fired a single shot at Ortiz, the officials said. Fernandez owned an auto-repair shop and was friends with Ortiz, according to Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez and Maj. Gen. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, director of the Dominican Republic’s national police.
Ortiz is recovering in a Boston hospital after he was shot in the back, and the bullet came out of his stomach.
Some in the Dominican Republic are skeptical that someone would mistakenly shoot a person as high profile as Ortiz, especially considering that reported intended target is much smaller with a lighter skin tone.
“He is big. He likes to attract attention. He wears a lot of jewelry. He’s flashy all around, said Daniel Pou, an independent public security consultant, to ESPN.
Authorities have arrested 11 people in the case, including suspected gunmen, drivers and accomplices. One of the suspects, who tried to escape the scene on a motorcycle, was beaten by bystanders before being turned in to police.