What to Know
- Red Sox legend David "Big Papi" Ortiz was shot at close range from behind on Sunday at a bar in his native Dominican Republic.
- The former slugger is now out of surgery and is in stable condition, according to Dominican Republic officials.
- Authorities said the alleged gunman was beaten by a crowd at the scene and that a second assailant remains on the loose.
David Ortiz is back in Boston.
Red Sox officials helped bring the baseball legend back to Massachusetts after he was injured in a shooting in the Dominican Republic.
"The events of last night shook our Red Sox family to its core," team President and CEO Sam Kennedy said at a press conference Monday. "David Ortiz is one of the most celebrated and beloved members of the Red Sox family. On behalf of our entire organization, our thoughts and prayers are with David."
Ortiz, 43, was hospitalized Monday following surgery for a gunshot wound after being ambushed by a man in a bar in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said.
Kennedy said the Red Sox are doing everything they can to support Ortiz. He said the team's medical staff confirmed Ortiz's condition is still serious, but he was stable enough to be transported back to Boston for continued care.
He said the team arranged for a medical air ambulance to transport Ortiz to Boston from the Dominican. The plane arrived at Logan Airport around 10 p.m. Monday and Ortiz was then taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital once he arrived.
Kennedy called Ortiz "probably the most beloved and one of the most important players in our history."
"Leading us to multiple World Series championships, an active member of the community. I'd be hard pressed to think of anyone more beloved than David. It's a very difficult day for the organization," he said.
"It's shocking when you get this kind of news. Your heart goes out immediately to him and his family," said Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations. "You're shaken, really, that's what it comes down to. He's not only iconic, but he's a friend."
Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, offered his thoughts and prayers to Ortiz's family.
"He's bigger than life, that vibe he brought in on a daily basis to those teams and what he brings anytime I see him," he said. "He gives you a hug, a big smile. He does it with everybody."
"It's been a tough one," Cora added. "I just hope when he gets here, everything is fine and we can see that big man again with us, filling a room with joy."
Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range. Ortiz was taken to the Abel Gonzalez clinic, where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, Bautista said.
Ortiz's father, Leo, speaking to reporters outside the clinic, said his son was out of danger and there wasn't any collateral damage, meaning no damage to major organs. He said he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.
"He is out of surgery and stable; he is resting," Leo Ortiz said. "Big Papi will be around for a long time."
According to the latest reports out of the Dominican, Ortiz had his gallbladder removed, part of his intestines removed and his liver was also damaged.
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The alleged gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, Bautista said. He said police are waiting until the man undergoes treatment for his injuries before questioning him.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista said.
Two other people were wounded, Bautista said, including Jhoel Lopez, a Dominican TV host who was with Ortiz. Bautista said police believe Lopez was wounded by the same bullet. Lopez was shot in the leg and his injuries were not life-threatening, said his wife, Liza Blanco, who is also a TV host.
Police did not identify the third person or detail that person's injuries.