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Ortiz, one of the Dominican Republic’s most revered athletes, underwent emergency surgery after being shot at a club in Santo Domingo and is in stable condition as of Monday morning. Ortiz’s father, Leo, told reporters Sunday night that no major organs were affected in the shooting. However, Leo Lopez, Ortiz’s media assistant, told ESPN early Monday that the team of doctors that conducted the surgery had to “remove part of Ortiz’s intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder.”
As a result, Ortiz will remain in intensive care for the next 24 hours. The surgery lasted approximately six hours and was completed around 3:30 a.m., Lopez told ESPN. Ortiz, 43, is expected to make a complete recovery.
“Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God," Leo Ortiz told ESPN. "What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly. Big Papi will be around for a long time.”
In a statement released in the early morning hours of Monday, the Red Sox said they offered “all available resources” to aid in Ortiz’s recovery. According to ESPN, those available resources include the team plane, which the Red Sox reportedly sent to the Dominican Republic on Monday to transport Ortiz back to Boston for further treatment.
According to Dr. Abel Gonzalez, who spoke to ESPN, Big Papi is showing a level of stability that makes it possible for him to travel. Doctors approved his travel to Boston as soon as the plane is ready.
Dominican police say Ortiz was shot by a man, identified as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia, around 8:50 p.m. Sunday. Garcia was observed getting off a motorcycle and shooting Ortiz from a short distance away. The bullet reportedly hit Ortiz in his lower back and went through his body.
Garcia was captured and beaten by others at the club. Per the Dominican Republic’s National Health Service, Garcia suffered a cranial contusion and thorax trauma, as well as injuries to his left knee and right leg. He was treated for his injuries before being taken into police custody.
Local authorities are investigating a possible motive for the crime.
Ortiz played 20 MLB seasons before retiring after the 2016 season. A 10-time All-Star, Ortiz spent 14 years with the Red Sox and, in 2004, helped the club win their first World Series since 1918. The Red Sox won two more titles (2007 and 2013) during Ortiz’s career. He was named World Series MVP for his performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013.
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