David Ortiz Was Not Target In Attempted Hit, Dominican Officials Say

David Ortiz looks on before the Red Sox home opening game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

David Ortiz continues to recover from a shooting in the Dominican Republic that led to the arrests of seven men. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Dominican Republic Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sanchez said that the hit team was offered 400,000 Dominican pesos — or about $7,800 — to kill the 43-year-old 10-time MLB All-Star.

Now, NPR reports that a bad photo and mix-up was the real cause of the incident, and the real target of the gunman — identified as Rolfi Ferreras Cruz — was Sixto David Fernández, who stood next to Ortiz in the surveillance footage from the evening of the shooting.

The hit on Fernández, who was well-known at the upscale Dial Bar and Lounge where the shooting took place, was reportedly ordered by his cousin Víctor Hugo Gómez, an associate of a Mexican drug cartel. Dominican officials claim that Gómez suspected that Fernández betrayed him to Dominican drug investigators years ago.

Ortiz remains hospitalized in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital’s intensive care unit. His condition was recently upgraded to good after a surgery. Television personality Jhoel López was also injured during the bar shooting, although he is expected to recover.

But some Dominicans are skeptical that the baseball superstar — towering over 6 feet tall and wearing flashy clothing and jewelry — could be confused for Fernández, who is much smaller and has a lighter complexion.

As The Inquistr previously reported, Maria Yeribell Martinez Garcia was allegedly in love with Ortiz, and the hit was ordered by a local gang leader that believed the baseball star was moving in on his women.

“Dominican Police say a gang of sicarios – hitmen – stalked Ortiz before shooting him at point-blank range to claim 400,000 Dominican Pesos ($7,805) that was offered to gun down the former Red Sox star,” a report noted. “Police have not said who was behind the ‘murder for hire’ plot but three law enforcement sources told DailyMail.com it’s believed the organizer was a Dominican drug lord who thought Ortiz was having an affair with his girlfriend.”

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Ortiz has been married to his wife Tiffany for over 15 years, which adds fuel to the drama surrounding the incident. The couple has three children together, and although they separated in 2013, they later reconciled. Tiffany has been acting as a spokesperson for the family following the shooting.

Still, other sources, including CNN, report that the suspected gunman, Cruz, is wanted for a series of armed robberies in New Jersey.

Gómez remains at large, and U.S. Attorney General Rodríguez claims they have asked the FBI for help locating him.