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The investigation into the shooting of Red Sox legend David Ortiz took a dramatic turn Wednesday, as authorities in the Dominican Republic outlined a coordinated scheme to kill the country's beloved native.
Here's a recap of what we know (last updated Friday at 4 p.m. ET):
At Least 9 Suspects Arrested; Video Shows Shooting
The alleged gunman and many other suspects have now been detained, and the weapon police say was used in the attack was recovered at a home where one of the suspects was arrested.
The alleged gunman and another suspect approached the Santo Domingo bar where the shooting occurred on a motorcycle, officials say, and were seen on security camera footage chatting with other suspects in cars before the attack.
Authorities released chilling surveillance video of the shooting. In it — about 2:30 in the video below — you can clearly see a baseball cap-wearing gunman walk up to Ortiz at the patio bar and shoot him in the back:
Officials have identified the shooter as Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, 25, and say he confessed to shooting Ortiz. (Apparently the authorities have provided different spellings of many of the suspects' names.)
In video released by media in the Dominican, Ferreira Cruz says Ortiz wasn't his intended target, according to CNN.
Prosecutors in New Jersey said Thursday they have a warrant for Ferreira Cruz on armed robbery and gun charges stemming from a 2017 incident.
As of Friday morning, at least nine people have been charged or accused in the shooting.
At least one other suspect remains at large. In this photo composite of the seven originally named suspects, at bottom-center is Luis Alfredo Rivas Clase, aka The Surgeon, who's still at large. Police in Pennsylvania say they believe Rivas Clase is the same man who's wanted there on a charge of attempted murder.
According to the Boston Globe, a Dominican newspaper said another of the suspects, Oliver Moises Mirabal Acosta (pictured above in the top row, second from right), had previously been accused of participating in the killing of at least four people in 2013.
A $7,800 Bounty
Authorities say the men had been offered 400,000 Dominican pesos, or roughly $7,800, to kill Ortiz. They said the coordinator of the attack was among those arrested, but they have not said who they think might've ordered the shooting.
Officials also haven't offered a motive.
The Associated Press — citing a law enforcement official granted anonymity — reported "that officials were investigating whether Ortiz may have formed some relationship or acquaintance during a trip here that, without his knowledge, set off the chain of events leading to his shooting." Neither the Globe nor the New York Times, for instance, have reported on such a line of investigation.
"Nobody involved in this lamentable episode will remain in impunity, not even the material or intellectual author" of the crime, the Dominican's chief prosecutor, Jean Alain Rodriguez, vowed on Wednesday.
The Times said the nightspot where the shooting occurred, Dial Bar and Lounge, was a regular hangout of Ortiz's, and the AP reported that Ortiz traveled in the Dominican capital "with little or no security, trusting his fans to protect him."
Another suspect — Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, who allegedly drove the motorcycle the gunman was riding on — was captured and beaten by a crowd of people after the shooting, before authorities took him into custody.
How's Big Papi Doing?
The bullet entered Ortiz’s back and exited his abdomen. The 43-year-old has had two surgeries and is recovering in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, after being transported from the Dominican on a plane sent by the Red Sox Monday night.
Doctors have removed Ortiz's gall bladder and parts of his intestine, his spokesman said. His liver was also damaged in the shooting.
His wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said in a statement released by the Red Sox Wednesday that he "is making good progress towards recovery," and he's been able to sit up and take some steps.
His daughter, Alexandria Ortiz, added on Instagram: "[C]haos has struck but my dad hasn’t complained once."
This article was originally published on June 13, 2019.
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