DR Authorities Identify Man Believed to Have Paid Hitmen in David Ortiz Shooting

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2019

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 09: David Ortiz looks on before the Red Sox home opening game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on April 09, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Authorities in the Dominican Republic identified a suspect who allegedly paid hitmen to target former MLB star David Ortiz, according to the Associated Press.

"Officials did not release details, but according to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, the man, whose real name is Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino, is accused of being the liaison between the alleged hitmen and the person who paid them," the report stated.

Ortiz was shot June 9 at a club in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

After initially being hospitalized in the Dominican Republic, Ortiz was flown to Boston for further treatment. According to CNN's Anyi Lizardo, Amir Vera and Eliott C. McLaughlin, a media assistant for Ortiz confirmed the 10-time All-Star had a part of his intestines and gall bladder removed during surgery. He also experienced bleeding in his liver.

Dominican police announced Wednesday that Rolfi Ferreira Cruz was in custody and had confessed to shooting Ortiz. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, director of the Dominican National Police, said Ferreira Cruz and others were paid to target Ortiz.

The AP provided further details on the alleged plan: "The documents state that a man who is in prison for an unrelated case reached out to Perez for the alleged job a week before the June 9 shooting at a bar in Santo Domingo and sent him a picture of the target so he could share it with the hitmen."

CNN's Patrick Oppmann and Angela Barajas reported Sunday that Dominican police were nearing the arrest of the person who ordered the hit. Ferreira Cruz denied he intentionally tried to shoot Ortiz, but authorities refuted that claim based on Ortiz's level of fame in his native country.

Dominican authorities also shared a video of Ferreira Cruz and Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, the alleged getaway driver, speaking with people in a parked car near the scene of the shooting.

The investigation into the alleged hit remains ongoing, with the AP reporting police believed they were "closing in on the mastermind and motive behind the shooting."