As retired Major League Baseball superstar David Ortiz continues to recover, according to an MLB.com report, after he was shot in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday night, that country's National Police announced on Wednesday that six men had been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of Ortiz.
Dominican Republic Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sanchez told the press that the hit team had been offered a bounty of 400,000 Dominican pesos — or about $7,800 United States dollars — to kill 43-year-old Ortiz, according to a Boston Globe report. Ortiz, a 10-time All Star who led the Boston Red Sox to three World Series championships, retired from baseball following the 2016 season.
According to a report posted via Twitter by Dominican sports journalist Héctor Gómez, the man suspected of firing the shot that severely injured Ortiz, Rolfi "Sandy" Ferreras Cruz, claimed that he did not know that Ortiz was the target of the assassination-for-hire.
Another suspect arrested on Wednesday, Oliver Moises Mirabal Acosta, has previously been accused of involvement in the 2013 slayings of four people in Las Palmas de Herrera, Dominican Republic, according to the Dominican newspaper Listin Diario. The paper said that the murders were linked to a gang headed by a local drug kingpin, Junior "Gilbert" Minaya Javier.A seventh suspect in the conspiracy to murder Ortiz is also suspected of a shooting that took place last year in Reading, Pennsylvania, according to the local news site Penn Live. Luis Alfredo "The Surgeon" Rivas-Clas is still being sought by police in the Dominican Republic.
Initial reports said that only two suspects, Ferreras Cruz and a man on a motorcycle who transported the alleged gunman to the Santo Domingo bar where Ortiz was shot. But according to a Reuters report, police quickly determined that the attempted "hit" on Ortiz was far more complex than those reports indicated.
"It didn't just involve two people, more people took part," National Police Chief Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte told reporters on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.
But police did not say who they believe ordered the attack on Ortiz, they and put up the alleged 400,000-peso bounty. Nor did they offer a motive for the attempted killing of Ortiz, who is widely known by the affectionate nickname "Big Papi."
The attack on Ortiz was planned out on Saturday night, Yahoo! Sports reported, citing court documents. The hit team met again on Sunday shortly before the shooting, which involved two cars and the motorcycle that carried the alleged shooter.