The alleged gunman and eight other suspects in the attempted murder of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic will remained jailed for at least a year while awaiting trial, a judge ruled Friday.
Eight men and a woman were charged this week in the shooting of Ortiz and television host Jhoel Lopez at a nightclub in Santo Domingo, the local prosecutor’s office said. The relationship between the suspects is unclear.
One of the suspects, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, 25, is wanted by New Jersey authorities for two armed robberies in 2017, prosecutors in the Dominican Republic said in a statement.
Ortiz, 43, who is also known as Big Papi, was at a Santo Domingo nightclub Sunday night with television host Jhoel Lopez when they were both injured by gunfire. A bullet struck Ortiz in the back and went through his stomach, police said. Both victims are recovering.
Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte has said investigators don’t know a motive for the shooting but said the suspects were paid to carry out the hit.
Authorities say they plan to release details to the public about the motive, the shooting’s mastermind and a “complete narrative” of the incident next week.
Dominican police are still searching for a 10th suspect believed to be involved in the shooting.
Ortiz is in ‘guarded condition’
Shortly after the shooting, Ortiz was rushed to a local hospital and treated for bleeding in his liver and had portions of his intestines and gallbladder removed, said Leo Lopez, his spokesman.
The next day, the Red Sox sent a plane to have him flown to Boston, where he had a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
He was in “guarded condition” Thursday in the hospital’s surgical intensive care unit, his wife said.
“He continues to heal and make progress,” Tiffany Ortiz said. “David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary.”
In addition to the doctors who treated her husband, she thanked Eliezel Salvador, the man who drove Ortiz to the hospital and held his hand in the car as he bled and struggled to breathe.
“Your heroism and selflessness were the first steps to ensuring David could get the urgent care he required,” she said. “For that, we are eternally grateful.”
Jhoel Lopez, who was also shot, is recovering, his wife has said.
Suspected gunman is among those in custody, police say
The arrests began Sunday night, starting with Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, who is accused of driving the alleged shooter to the club on the back of a motorcycle.
The first came Sunday night shortly after the shooting. Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, who is accused of driving the alleged gunman to the club on the back of a motorcycle, was held down by witnesses and viciously beaten shortly after the shooting. He was then handed over to police with a bloodied and bruised face.
Police said Féliz Garcia and Cruz, the alleged gunman, tried to leave on the motorcycle after the shooting, but it fell to the pavement. The alleged gunman fled, police said, but onlookers attacked Féliz Garcia and handed him over to authorities.
Bautista Almonte, the police director, said the arrests of Cruz and other suspects happened after investigators spoke with Féliz Garcia at a hospital.
Deivi Solano, one of his attorneys, said his client is a motorcycle taxi driver and may have unwittingly driven the shooter, but he did not shoot Ortiz.
A witness told police he saw Féliz García and the gunman get into a car parked near the scene of the shooting before gunfire erupted, the charging documents say.
Suspect is wanted in New Jersey
A grand jury indicted him on the charges in 2018, said Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office. A bench warrant without geographic limitations was issued by a Superior Court at the request of the prosecutor’s office.
CNN’s Angela Barajas, Leona Siaw, Jeffrey York and Jonny Hallam contributed to this report.