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'Please Don’t Let Me Die. I’m A Good Man,' Boston Red Sox Icon David Ortiz Reportedly Tells Doctors After Being Shot
The retired baseball slugger was at a bar in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic when a gunman walked up to him and shot him in the back.
Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz, known affectionately to fans as “Big Papi,” was shot at close range in the back while at a bar in the Dominican Republic Sunday.
The former Red Sox slugger was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo when a man approached him at around 8:50 p.m. and shot him from behind, the Associated Press reports.
He was rushed into surgery at the Abel Gonzalez clinic and is now in stable condition, after having his gallbladder and a portion of his intestines and colon removed.
“Doctors say he is out of danger, but he is heavily sedated and will be in intensive care for the next 24 hours,” Ortiz’s media assistant Leo Lopez told ESPN.
Ortiz’s father, Leo Ortiz, also confirmed that his son was recovering and told reporters he had no idea why anyone would want to shoot the star, who played in the major leagues for 20 seasons.
“He is out of surgery and stable; he is resting,” he said. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”
The shooter has been identified by police spokesman Colonel Frank Duran Mejia as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia.
Garcia was apprehended after a crowd of people at the bar captured him and began to beat him after the shooting, Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said.
He suffered a series of injuries, including a cranium contusion and trauma to his thorax, and was treated at a local hospital before being taken into police custody.
Investigators are still trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target of the violence, as he had been sitting with a group of other people, including Dominican TV host Jhoel Lopez, when the gunfire broke out.
It’s believed that Lopez was wounded by the same bullet that struck Ortiz.
Lopez’s wife, Liza Blanco, told the media that her husband had been shot in the leg and that his injuries were not life-threatening.
A third unidentified person was also reportedly wounded in the incident.
The bar is located in a nightlife district full of dance clubs and expensive bars that Ortiz is said to frequent often, according to the Associated Press. He is a well known figure in the Dominican Republic, where he lives at least half the year, and can frequently be seen getting his car washed and hanging out with his friends.
Dominican reporter Dionisio Soldevila told ESPN that Ortiz had told his doctors, “Please don’t let me die. I’m a good man,” after the shooting.
After news of the shooting began to spread, the Boston Red Sox—where Ortiz played for 14 seasons—took to social media to voice their support of the former player.
“We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts,” the team wrote on Twitter.
During his career, Ortiz hit a total of 541 home runs and helped the Red Sox win three World Series titles. He retired following the 2016 season.