Suspects in David Ortiz’s shooting got paid $7,800, police say
The alleged gunman in the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic is wanted by New Jersey authorities for two armed robberies in 2017.
Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, 25, has been accused of several armed robbery and firearms charges in Passaic County, New Jersey, prosecutors in the Dominican Republic said in a statement. Authorities said Ferreira Cruz has never been arrested.
Ferreira Cruz and eight other suspects in the shooting appeared in court late on Thursday. All of the suspects in custody, on woman and eight men, have been charged with being accomplices to attempted murder, the prosecutor’s office in Santo Domingo said Thursday. The 10th suspect is still at large.
The prosecutor’s office said it will also seek a year of preventive detention for them.
Ortiz, 43, who is also known as Big Papi, was at a Santo Domingo nightclub Sunday night with television host Jhoel Lopez when they were both injured by gunfire. A bullet struck Ortiz in the back and went through his stomach, police said. Both victims are recovering.
Authorities said a total of seven people were linked to the shooting. Six people were custody, and one remained at large Thursday, police said.
Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte has said investigators don’t know a motive for the shooting but said the suspects were paid to carry out the hit.
They were offered 400,000 Dominican pesos — about $7,800 — to shoot Ortiz, Bautista Almonte said.
Suspected gunman is among those in custody, police say
The arrests began Sunday night, starting with Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, who is accused of driving the alleged shooter to the club on the back of a motorcycle.
Police said Féliz Garcia and Cruz, the alleged gunman, tried to leave on the motorcycle after the shooting, but it fell to the pavement. The alleged gunman fled, police said, but onlookers attacked Féliz Garcia and handed him over to authorities.
Bautista Almonte, the police director, said the arrests of Cruz and other suspects happened after investigators spoke with Féliz Garcia at a hospital.
Investigators found the firearm allegedly used in the shooting buried in the home of one of the suspects near the city of Mao, police said.
Féliz Garcia has been charged with being an accomplice to attempted murder.
Deivi Solano, one of his attorneys, said his client is a motorcycle taxi driver and may have unwittingly driven the shooter, but he did not shoot Ortiz.
A witness told police he saw Féliz García and the gunman get into a car parked near the scene of the shooting before gunfire erupted, the charging documents say.
It is unclear what charges each of the other suspects face, but investigators are treating the case as an attempted murder.
Big Papi recovers in Boston
Shortly after the shooting, Ortiz was rushed to a local hospital and treated for bleeding in his liver and having portions of his intestines and gallbladder removed, said Leo Lopez, his spokesman.
The next day, the Red Sox sent a plane to have him flown to Boston, where he had a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
He was in guarded condition Thursday in the hospital’s intensive care unit, his wife said in a statement released by the Red Sox.
“He continues to heal and make progress,” Tiffany Ortiz said. “David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary.”
The other person who was shot, Jhoel Lopez, is recovering, his wife has said.
CNN’s Jeffrey York, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Jason Hanna and Jonny Hallam contributed to this report.