Authorities Identify Man They Believe Paid Hitmen In David Ortiz Shooting

Authorities in the Dominican Republic believe they are close to uncovering a motive in the shooting of the Red Sox icon, who is recovering at a Boston hospital.

By Jill Sederstrom

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have identified the man they believe paid for the hit on baseball legend David Ortiz.

Authorities believe fugitive Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota paid the alleged coordinator of the attack $7,800 to arrange the hit, according to The Associated Press.

The development was announced as authorities believe they are closer than ever to uncovering the motive for the shooting and the crime’s mastermind—as the number of suspects in the case continues to grow.

At least 10 suspects are already in custody in the coordinated attack on Ortiz, many of whom come from poor neighborhoods and may have just been foot soldiers in the alleged plot, CNN reports.

Authorities have now begun to lay out a timeline of events leading up to the June 9 shooting as the alleged perpetrators began to plot how to take out one of the Dominican Republic’s most well-known and beloved athletes. Ortiz, who was shot in the back, continues to recover at a Boston hospital.

David Ortiz

Authorities believe Mota allegedly met another suspect, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaíno on June 2 to discuss the coordinated attacked, a week before Ortiz was shot while at a crowded bar in Santo Domingo, according to The Boston Globe.

It’s not clear why Mota would have wanted to kill the former major league baseball star, or whether he was acting on behalf of another party, according to CNN.

Authorities believe Perez Vizcaíno was serving as a go-between for Rodriguez Mota and another suspect, Jose Eduardo Ciprián, who was working to try to orchestrate the hit from prison, the news organization reports.

A week later, on the day of the shooting, Perez Vizcaíno reportedly received a gold iPhone that had a picture of “the person they were going to liquidate,” according to court documents filed in the case.

He showed the photo to a team of hit men at a gas station and the group convened the night of the shooting just outside the Dial, where the shooting occurred. The alleged triggerman Rolfi Ferreras Cruz rode to the bar on a motorcycle being driven by Eddy Vladimir Feliz—and shot Ortiz in the back just before 9 p.m., police say.

The angry crowd captured and attacked Feliz until police arrived to make the arrest.

Ferreras Cruz, who told reporters he had meant to shoot someone else, was arrested a few days after the attack.

After the shooting was carried out, Mota allegedly sold the gold iPhone to a woman the following day.

“He did this to get rid of the phone after learning that police were looking for him,” legal documents said.

Mota remains at large, in addition to several other suspects involved in the case. At a hearing on Friday, a judge ordered that nine of the suspects be held in jail a year while awaiting trial.

Ortiz played in the major leagues for 20 seasons before retiring in 2016. He played 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox and won three World Series titles with them.

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