Red Sox Legend David Ortiz Takes First Steps after Dominican Republic Shooting

Mary Scott
Jun 12, 2019
02:13 P.M.
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Boston Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz has taken his first steps following a second surgery to address injuries he sustained after getting shot in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday.

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Ortiz’s rep Leo Lopez told CNN on Tuesday that the former athlete’s wife Tiffany and their children have been by his side since he was flown into the US and witnessed as he took a few steps. "He'll be in intensive care for a while," Lopez added.

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Speaking to WBZ-TV the same day, Lopez clarified the purpose of the second surgery Ortiz underwent at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital:

“He underwent an emergency surgery to determine how the organs were affected by the impact of the bullet. Thank God everything is good. The surgery performed in the Dominican Republic was done correctly.”

David Ortiz & his wife, Tiffany, at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony on Dec. 12, 2016 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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BIG PAPI'S WIFE SPEAKS OUT

Earlier, Tiffany issued a statement via the Boston Red Sox where she revealed that her husband is “stable, awake, and resting comfortably” in intensive care “where he is expected to remain for the next several days.”

Tiffany also expressed her appreciation to the Boston Red Sox officials who made a plane available to airlift Ortiz from the Dominican Republic where he was shot on Sunday.

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THE DAY IT ALL STARTED

The former first baseman was with Dominican TV presenter Jhoel Lopez at Dial Bar and Lounge in his hometown of Santo Domingo around 8:50 pm when he was shot in the back.

The bullet went through his stomach, and the police believe it was the same bullet that hit Jhoel in the leg. Jhoel’s wife, Liza Blanco, has since updated fans about her husband’s condition, revealing that he is stable and in recovery.

Ortiz was initially rushed to the Abel Gonzalez clinic in the Dominican Republic where he underwent the first surgery.

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BIG PAPI'S INJURIES

According to ABC News, Dr. Abel Gonzalez, on Monday afternoon, updated reporters on the significant injuries sustained by Ortiz:

"The wound caused damage to the liver [and] small intestine. We had to remove part of the intestines as well as [part of] the liver.”

Around the same time, the Red Sox sent in a medical air ambulance to transport Ortiz back to Boston for treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. He arrived around 9:30 pm on Monday.

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UNRAVELING THE CRIME

Surveillance footage from the Dial Bar shows the moment Ortiz crumbles to the ground after being apparently shot by a shooter whose legs are the only thing visible in the video. The baseball legend’s agent, Fernando Cuza, confirmed to CNN that the man who falls off his chair is Ortiz.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia who was initially thought to be the suspected gunman, was just the motorcycle rider, reported Daily Mail. The alleged shooter, who is yet to be named, is also said to be in custody.

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WHY WAS BIG PAPI SHOT?

Garcia has a 2017 drug charge and lives in Las Caobas, West Santo Domingo, CNN reported. His mother, Justina Garcia, also told the outlet that her son is innocent.

"We really like him [David Ortiz], and my son and I are fans of his. My son had nothing to do with this."

The police are yet to determine a motive for the shooting, but there has been a theory that it was orchestrated by a Dominican drug lord who suspected Ortiz was having an affair with his wife.

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Lopez has since debunked the claims, claiming that the attack was the work of contract killers.

“There is no doubt that it was an act of hired killers. If we had known that there was a dangerous situation, he [David Ortiz] would not have been there at that moment.”

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DAVID ORTIZ: BIGGER THAN BASEBALL

Beyond baseball, Ortiz is widely beloved as a man with a heart of gold. “He is a superhero without a cape,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters on Monday, according to Daily Mail. “That’s the way we see him.”

Other sporting personalities and top political leaders, including former president Barack Obama have also shared kind words and prayers for Ortiz to recover fully from his injuries.

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TRIBUTE TO A GREAT MAN

Before their game against the Texas Rangers on Monday, the Red Sox honored Ortiz with a moment of silence, praying for his “complete healing and a full recovery.”

Ortiz ended his impressive 20-season career in 2016 after making 10 All-Star appearances and helping the Red Sox clinch several victories.

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