The family of the alleged mastermind behind the botched hit that left baseball star David Ortiz with a gunshot wound to the back believes he's being framed.
Dominican authorities announced Friday that they had arrested Victor Hugo Gomez, a suspected drug trafficker who they believe was willing to pay $30,000 for a hit on his cousin, Sixto David Fernandez, according to WBZ-TV.
Authorities have said that Gomez was angry because he believed his cousin — who was sitting at the same table as Ortiz on the night of the shooting — had turned him into Dominican police.
Authorities believe Fernandez had been the intended target in the June 9 attack, but the alleged assassin mistook Ortiz for their intended victim.
Gomez’s family, however, claims their relative is being set up.
“He’s a very kind loving person so it’s very hard to see him framed like this,” a relative, who asked to remain anonymous, told WBZ-TV.
The relative also told the station that the day before he was arrested, “The police were chasing him and trying to kill him.”
Gomez proclaimed his innocence himself in a recorded video the day before his arrest.
“Sixto David has already said he has no enemies and I am not his enemy. I want to make clear I had nothing to do with this,” Gomez said, adding that he feared for his life.
Gomez had been living in Katy, Texas, before his arrest and is an alleged associate of the Mexican drug cartel, local Texas station KTRK reports.
He was also wanted in the United States for possession and distribution of cocaine charges in Texas, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service.
They said Gomez was alleged to be “part of a conspiracy dismantled in March through a multiagency investigation dubbed Operation Wrecking Ball” and had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
His relative told WBZ-TV that he hadn’t turned himself in to authorities on those charges because of his financial situation.
“He hadn’t turned himself in because he has no money for a lawyer, just like he doesn’t have money to send that hit for his cousin Sixto David Fernandez,” said the relative.
However, authorities believe Gomez had paid $10,000 to those involved in the hit-job, but had not yet made the rest of the payment when he was apprehended, The New York Post reports.
Authorities have arrested 14 suspects so far in connection with the shooting at the popular Dominican bar.
Ortiz continues to recover from the single gunshot wound at a Boston hospital and is said to be making steady progress in his recovery. His wife, Tiffany Ortiz, released a statement last week through the Boston Red Sox —where Ortiz played for 14 seasons before his retirement — saying the former major league slugger had been removed from the intensive care unit.
“He remains in good condition and continues to recover under the care of Drs. David King and Larry Ronan,” she said, according to The New York Post.
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