Six men are now in custody in the Dominican Republic tied to the attempted murder of baseball star David Ortiz, authorities announced Wednesday, saying it was a coordinated attack for which the men were allegedly paid the equivalent of $US8,000.
Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez, the Dominican Republic’s chief prosecutor, spoke at a press briefing, indicating that authorities believe they have the alleged shooter in custody but are still pursuing one more suspect. They still haven’t announced a motive for the attack on Ortiz or who paid for it.
Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, the director of the Dominican National Police, presented the black handgun allegedly used to shoot Ortiz on Sunday night outside of a popular nightspot in Ortiz’s hometown of Santo Domingo. It was the first time authorities confirmed publicly that the shooters were paid to target Ortiz.
Authorities say the attack on Ortiz was planned the night before. According to court documents obtained by The Boston Globe, the men believed to be part of the plot met again Sunday night with two cars and a motorcycle parked nearby.
Two men — including alleged shooter Ramón Martínez Perez, who goes by the name Rolfie and was named for the first time Wednesday — left on the motorcycle to attack Ortiz. The driver was 25-year-old Eddy Vladimir Feliz García, who lost control of the motorcycle, crashed and was detained and beaten by nearby citizens. Initial reports from the scene believed that García was the shooter.
The shooter escaped on foot, returned to the two vehicles and fled the scene. Witnesses were able to identify the cars and police tracked down Perez.
Among those in custody, according to The Globe, is Oliver Moisés Mirabal Acosta. Acosta, according to Dominican newspapers, was previously sentenced to prison time on an illegal gun charge and was accused of being part of four execution-style killings in 2013 that were tied to a local drug gang.
Ortiz, meanwhile, is in a Boston hospital, where his condition is improving, according to his family. His wife Tiffany Ortiz released the following statement Wednesday:
“David continues to recuperate today in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital under the direction of treating trauma surgeon Dr. David King.
“Yesterday and this morning, David was able to sit up as well as take some steps. His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery.
“My family and I again want to thank everyone for their endless love and well wishes, and still ask for privacy while David continues to heal.”