NEW YORK, June 10 — Former Boston Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz was recovering in a Santo Domingo hospital today after a man shot him in the back in a nightclub late Sunday, according to the team and local media.
Ortiz, a 43-year-old retired player still beloved in Boston for his role on three World Series-winning teams, was seated at a club when a gunman opened fire, according to US and Dominican media.
Two other people were wounded during the ambush, including Jhoel Lopez, a television host, CBS News reported.
El Nuevo Diario published what it said was security camera footage of the moment the shooting occurred, which showed seated patrons at the bar suddenly fleeing, leaving toppled chairs behind them.
The shooter approached on a motorcycle, CNN reported. Police have detained multiple people in connection with the shooting, including one person who was captured and beaten by bystanders and has since been taken to hospital, CNN reported. It was unclear whether the gunman was among those detained, CNN reported.
The baseball star was out of surgery and in a stable condition and expected to make a full recovery, his father, Leo Ortiz, told reporters in Santo Domingo, according to CBS.
“Big Papi will be around for a long time,” he told reporters.
The Red Sox said they were in contact with the family.
“We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts,” the statement said.
Ortiz started his career in 1997 with the Minnesota Twins, and played for the Red Sox for 14 seasons before retiring in 2016, according to Major League Baseball’s website.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Ortiz’s fellow baseball stars were among those expressing sympathy for Ortiz and his family.
Ortiz was famously protective of Boston during his time with the Red Sox, and won international attention for a defiant speech days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in which he blurted out “this is our fucking city” on national television.
His former teammate Pedro Martinez called Ortiz a “strong man.”
“I’m at peace knowing you out of danger,” he wrote on Twitter.
Former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez sent his prayers in a Twitter message. “Anxiously waiting for more news,” he wrote. — Reuters