Former Boston Red Sox superstar David Ortiz was hospitalized to treat injuries sustained via gunshot wound following an incident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, his family and the Red Sox have confirmed. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, Dominican National police director, announced that Ortiz is in stable condition following emergency surgery.
The Red Sox released the following statement late Sunday night:
Late last night we were made aware of an incident involving David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. David’s family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery.
We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.
“(Ortiz’s family) got back to me this morning. Stable, recovering, and it looks like everything is going to be OK,” former Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks said Monday morning on CBS Sports HQ. “… As it looks right now, surgery went well, from what I’m being told. He’s got a little bit of recovery ahead of him, but he’s going to be OK.”
Ortiz’s father, Leo, confirmed that his son was shot once, according to an ESPN report. The bullet penetrated through Ortiz’s back and exited out through his stomach. Here is what Ortiz’s father told ESPN’s Enrique Rojas via telephone immediately after news surfaced that Ortiz had been shot and wounded:
“They called me to tell me that David is injured and that they took him to a medical center, but they did not tell me how he is or where he was transferred exactly,” Leo Ortiz said by telephone from the Dominican Republic.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera passes along word from Leo Lopez, Ortiz’s assistant and press representative, that Ortiz’s surgery ended at 3:30 a.m. local time and he will remain in intensive care for 24 hours. Doctor’s had to remove his gallbladder, and also control bleeding from his liver and bowel.
Ortiz’s brother, Eloy, told Dominican reporter Dionisio Soldevila that the former Red Sox slugger is “out of surgery and doing well.” Despite the injuries, Leo Ortiz said a full recovery is expected.
“Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God,” Ortiz’s father, Leo Ortiz, told ESPN. “What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly.”
Leo Ortiz added: “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”
The Red Sox will hold a press conference Monday afternoon at Fenway Park to discuss the Ortiz situation. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, executive vice president and assistant GM Eddie Romero, and manager Alex Cora are expected to speak. Ortiz has been cleared to travel to Boston for further treatment:
The incident took place at a lounge in the eastern part of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. At least one person responsible for the incident is in local police custody. The incident was initially described as a attempted robbery, but security footage surfaced on social media that is alleged to show what appeared to have been an ambush.
Two others were wounded during the attack, including Dominican television host Jhoel Lopez, possibly by the same bullet that passed through Ortiz.
ESPN reports the attacker has been identified as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia. He was captured and beaten by a crowd at the venue, and suffered injuries to his head and legs. He was treated at a local hospital before being released into police custody.
Ortiz, 42, was born and raised in Santo Domingo and is considered a legendary figure in his native Dominican Republic. His main residence is in the Boston area, but he does charity work and has business interests in his native country. In parts of 20 MLB seasons, Ortiz hit .286 with 541 home runs. He was a 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion.
Here is what is being reported:
– Ortiz was shot once in the lower back. The bullet exited through his abdomen.
– Incident took place at a bar/lounge in Ortiz’s native Dominican Republic.
– Ortiz underwent emergency surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
– During the surgery, Ortiz’s gallbladder was removed and bleeding from his liver and bowel had to be controlled.
– Ortiz is considered to be in stable condition, according to one of the doctors and the local police chief.
– A suspect was beaten by a crowd at the venue and is now in police custody.
– Two others were wounded during the attack, including Dominican television host Jhoel Lopez.
– Security camera footage shows the attack was not an attempted robbery, but perhaps an ambush.
CBS Sports will continue to update this breaking news story as necessary.