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Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz shot in Dominican Republic, said to be in stable condition

Key Points
  • Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz was shot in the back at close range Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said.
  • Ortiz was taken to a clinic, where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, according to authorities.
Former designated hitter David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is introduced with the World Series trophy during a 2018 World Series championship ring ceremony on April 9, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
Billie Weiss | Boston Red Sox | Getty Images

Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at close range Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said.

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. when the gunman approached from behind and shot him. 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 that the bullet had not hit any major organ. He said he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.

The 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.

Leo Ortiz, center, father of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz talks with journalists at the hospital where his son was hospitalized after being shot in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, June 9, 2019. Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at close range Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said.
Ricardo Hernandez | AP

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.

The Dial Bar and Lounge is located in eastern Santo Domingo on Venezuela Avenue, a bustling nightlife district packed with dance clubs and pricey bars that Ortiz is known to frequent. Ortiz, who lives at least part of the year in the Dominican, is often seen getting his cars washed and hanging out with friends including other baseball players, artists and entertainers.

The 43-year-old Ortiz hit 541 homers in 20 major league seasons, including 14 with the Red Sox. He helped lead Boston to three World Series titles and retired after the 2016 season. He was a 10-time All-Star and two-time World Series MVP, in 2004 and 2013.