6 suspects, including gunman, arrested in David Ortiz shooting
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic An alleged gunman and five accomplices have been detained in the shooting of former Red Sox superstar David Ortiz, Dominican officials said Wednesday, while providing no information about why a group of young men would try to kill their country’s most beloved sports hero.
our other suspects were also being pursued in the shooting, which witnesses said was carried out by two men on a motorcycle, assisted by two other groups of people in cars.
“At this moment, they are being interrogated and we will continue deepening the investigation to get to the truth about what happened,” Chief Prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez said.
“Nobody involved in this unfortunate episode will escape justice, neither those who carried it out nor the mastermind,” he said.
The national police director, Maj. Gen. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, said the coordinator of the attack was offered 400,000 Dominican pesos, or about $7,800, to orchestrate the shooting. He said the alleged coordinator was also among those in custody.
Rodríguez and Bautista declined to give a motive for the shooting at a popular Santo Domingo bar Sunday night or say who had hired the attackers.
They promised, however, that all those who targeted Ortiz in the baseball-crazy Caribbean country would be brought to justice.
“We recognize the symbolism that David Ortiz represents, and we promise that this case will be cleared up completely,” Bautista said.
Ortiz is one of the most beloved figures in sports history in the Dominican Republic and Boston, a fearsome power hitter with a ready smile. The slugger known as Big Papi led the Red Sox to three
World Series championships, was a -time All-Star and hit 5 home runs.
The Red So retired his number, , in 2 a year after he retired and %oston renamed a bridge and a stretch of road outside )enway Park in his honor. e maintains a home in Weston, on the outskirts of %oston.
2rti galvani ed the city in the aftermath of the 2 %oston Marathon bombing that left three people dead, bellowing through a megaphone at )enway Park: “This is our e pletive city ”
While 2rti lived in %oston, he visited the Dominican Republic at least si times a year, where he crossed paths with a wide variety of figures from the country s legitimate and illegal business worlds, according to friends.
2rti studiously avoided mi ing with shady characters, but a law-enforcement official said on condition of anonymity that officials were investigating whether 2rti may have formed some relationship or acTuaintance during a trip here that, without his knowledge, set off the chain of events leading to his shooting.
Among the suspects in custody was the alleged shooter, identified by authorities as Rolfy )erreyra, aka Sandy, a skinny, tattooed 25-year-old who officials said had confessed to the shooting.
In a statement, officials said the weapon used, a %rowning i Power semi-automatic pistol, had been handed to suspect 2liver Moises Mirabal Acosta, then to suspect Porfirio Allende Dechamps VasTue , AKA The Kid, who buried it in the garden of his home.
%oth men have been arrested and the gun has been recovered.
Also under arrest were Joel Rodrtgue de la ru , aka STuiddy Reynaldo Rodrtgue Valen uela, aka The hinaman and the suspected driver of the motorcycle, (ddy Vladimir )eli arcta, aka The Package.
Many were caught in the same clothes they were seen wearing on surveillance video, %autista said.
The four suspects still at large were identified as Luis Alfredo Rivas lase, aka The Surgeon, as well as a woman known as The Vene uelan, or Red, and two other men, prosecutors said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in %oston, 2rti s wife said in statement that the former Red So slugger was able to sit up and take some steps as he recuperates in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts eneral ospital.
“ is condition is guarded, and he will remain in the I for the coming days, but he is making good progress toward recovery,” Tiffany 2rti said in the statement.
Prosecutors said security camera footage showed two men on the motorcycle talking with other people in a gray yundai Accent and in another yundai in a nearby street before the shooting.
2ne of the suspects, Mirabal Acosta, was seen driving the Accent before mounting a motorcycle driven by the 25-year-old )eli arcta, the prosecutors said in a court document.
“In one of the videos it was possible to observe both the accused and the shooter planning the commission of the incident,” the prosecutors said.
The document also revealed ineptitude, saying the motorcycle driver, )eli arcta, was captured after he skidded and fell off his bike as the pair tried to flee. (nraged fans captured )eli arcta and beat him bloody before handing him over to police.
Mirabal Acosta was captured Tuesday night in the town of Mao in the northern Dominican Republic.
)eli arcta s lawyer said his client, who has been charged with being an accomplice to attempted murder, is an innocent motorcycle ta i driver who had no idea his passenger was going to commit a crime.
“ e didn t know what they were going to do. e s a fan of David s,” the attorney, Deivi Solano, said Tuesday.
2rti s father and a sister live in Santo Domingo and the -year-old former Red So great was active on the social scene here, hitting nightspots with friends who included TV personalities and Dominican reggaeton musicians.
%eloved in his hometown, 2rti traveled the dangerous streets of the Dominican capital with little or no security, trusting his fans to protect him, according to friends.
The Dominican Republic is one of the world s most dangerous countries.
The murder rate stands at 2.5 killings per , people, placing the Dominican Republic in the top to 5 of the most violent countries in the world, according to the .S. State Department.
Retired Red Sox star David Ortiz continues to show good progress as he recovers from the bullet wound he suffered Sunday night in the Dominican Republic.