Police in the Dominican Republic have arrested a total of six people, including the alleged gunman directly involved in the shooting of former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, the director of the Dominican National Police, and Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez told reporters Wednesday. Ortiz, a future Hall of Famer, was shot in the back at a lounge in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, on Sunday night.
Bautista said that there were two vehicles, one motorcycle and several individuals involved in the ambush against Ortiz. Bautista also told reporters at the press conference that their investigation has led them to believe that a group of criminals offered approximately $8,000 (400,000 Dominincan pesos) to assassinate Ortiz.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera shared more details from the press conference.
Police in the Dominican Republic are still investigating the case, and have yet to comment on a possible motive for the shooting but have ruled out robbery.
Here’s more from ABC News on the six arrested suspects, and a seventh that remains at large:
A manhunt was on late Wednesday for a seventh suspect. He was identified by police as Luis Alfredo Rivas Clase, who also goes by the nickname “The Surgeon.”
Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said all seven men were part of the murder plot that left Ortiz with a bullet wound to the back.
The suspected gunman who shot Ortiz was identified by police as 25-year-old Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz. Cruz is among those under arrest, according to police. Police said Cruz confessed to shooting Ortiz.
Police said the handgun used in the attempted hit on Ortiz was found buried near a house in Mao, about 100 miles southwest of Santo Domingo, where one of the suspects was arrested.
The other suspects were identified as Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, Reynaldo Rodriguez Valenzuela, Joel Rodriguez Cruz, Oliver Moises Mirabal Acosta and Polfirio Alende Deschamps Vasquez.
The first suspect, Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, was arrested immediately after the shooting and appeared in court Tuesday, charged as an accomplice to “attempted homicide” and “criminal association” in connection to the shooting, according to charging papers obtained by ABC News. Garcia is also charged with “intentionally causing injury through use of an illegal firearm.”
Here’s more from the Globe on Garcia’s involvement, and Oliver Moises Mirabel Acosta, another suspect arrested on Tuesday:
… Other witnesses saw two cars, a gray Kia and a gray Hyundai, parked on a street near the Dial. García and another man were on a motorcycle next to the cars. The men got off the motorcycle and left it on the street and drove off in the Kia, leaving the bike next to the Hyundai, records show. The car returned a couple minutes later, and the same witnesses saw García and his companion mount the bike, the documents said.
Moments later, witnesses said they saw a man on a Baja motorcycle get off and walk up to where Ortiz was seated. “Without saying a word, [the gunman] fired a gun,” the report said.
Witnesses said the shooter tried to get back on the motorcycle but fled when people surrounded the bike.
García “accelerated, lost control of the motorcycle and tumbled, leading people in the area to detain him and beat him,” prosecutors wrote. “The person who fired kept running with the gun in his hand and managed to escape.”
Afterward, police conducted “an exhaustive investigation” and examined video surveillance that showed the shooter running toward the Hyundai and reuniting with the people inside the car. The license plate of the car matched the license plate of a car caught by a gas station camera in Caobas.
Doctors in Santo Domingo removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his intestines during emergency surgery, and, undergoing two hours of exploratory surgery. In Boston, Ortiz took his first steps in the hospital where he is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit.
Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany, shared a third statement on Thursday via the Red Sox, where she thanked the man who drove Ortiz to the hospital in the Dominican Republic as well as the hospital staff:
“I want to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Eliezer Salvador, owner of Presidente Sports, for your quick thinking and swift action on Sunday night. Your heroism and selflessness were the first steps to ensuring David could get the urgent care he required. For that, we are eternally grateful.”
“To the amazing surgeons, medical team, and staff at the Abel Gonzalez Clinic in the Dominican Republic, there are no words to express our gratitude for the amazing care you provided. Without you, our story could have had a traffic ending. You will forever be our guardian angels.”
“David remains in guarded condition in the surgical intensive care unit following his second surgery. He continues to heal and make progress. David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary.”