A plane carrying David Ortiz landed in Boston on Monday night, a day after the Red Sox icon was shot at a club in his native Dominican Republic and underwent emergency surgery.
Ortiz was then taken by ambulance, with a police escort, to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he will continue to receive medical attention.
Ortiz was shot Sunday at a club in eastern Santo Domingo, a bustling nightlife district packed with dance clubs and bars. A team of surgeons, led by Dr. Abel Gonzalez, operated on Ortiz for six hours and repaired damage done by the bullet to both intestines and his liver. They also had to remove Ortiz’s gallbladder to work on the liver, though the gallbladder itself was not damaged.
Gonzalez said during a Monday news conference that he anticipates Ortiz making a full recovery with no restrictions. Asked about Ortiz’s qualify of life going forward, Gonzalez replied, “When he overcomes this, the same as before.”
Doctors approved Ortiz’s transfer to Boston on a plane sent to the Dominican Republic by the Red Sox.
Authorities said Ortiz, 43, was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range around 8:50 p.m. local time Sunday at the Dial Bar and Lounge.
Police have both suspects in custody, the suspected shooter and the suspected driver of the motorcycle, a source close to the investigation told ESPN Deportes. But officially, police have acknowledged the arrest of only one suspect.
The motorcycle driver has been identified as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia, who was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, according to Dominican National Police director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte.
Garcia suffered a cranium contusion and trauma to his thorax, left knee and right leg, according to the Dominican Republic’s National Health Service. He was treated at the Dario Contreras Hospital in Santo Domingo before being released to police custody.
Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek becomes emotional talking about David Ortiz and is very complimentary of his former teammate.
Police have not yet released the identity of the suspected gunman. Earlier Monday, police spokesman Col. Frank Duran Mejia had mistakenly identified Garcia as the suspected shooter.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista said. Ortiz’s father, Leo, told local media he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.
Ortiz, who was born in Santo Domingo, played major league baseball for 20 seasons and was best known for the 14 years he spent with Boston.
Ortiz made 10 All-Star teams and won three World Series with the Red Sox before retiring in 2016. He was named World Series MVP in 2013, when he helped the Red Sox knock off the St. Louis Cardinals.
He had helped rally the city after the Boston Marathon bombings that year, giving a speech at Fenway Park, telling the crowd to stay “Boston strong.”
“We all remember in 2013, when we needed David Ortiz the most, he was there for us in late April. And so it’s appropriate and expected that this community would rally around David when he needs us the most,” Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said Monday.
The Red Sox held a moment of prayer for Ortiz prior to their home game Monday night against the Texas Rangers.
The Red Sox retired Ortiz’s No. 34 in 2017, and Boston renamed a bridge and a stretch of road outside Fenway Park in his honor. He maintains a home in Weston, on the outskirts of Boston.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.