David Ortiz was not the intended victim of the attempted assassination in the Dominican Republic, according to prosecutors.
Dominican Republic attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez said Ortiz’s friend Sixto David Fernandez was the intended target of the assassination, according to WCVB. The gunman was shown a picture of the table as part of his direction and misunderstood the instructions, thinking he was supposed to target Ortiz.
11 accomplices have been arrested in the attack, though the two masterminds remain at large. Ortiz previously told authorities that he didn’t know who would target him.
“The target of this assassination attempt was NOT David Ortiz. The target was a friend of David Ortiz’s, who was on the same table. The target was Sixto David Fernandez.” –Jean Alain Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/gn2HCSnxf5
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) June 19, 2019
Ortiz’s attorney Jose Martinez Hoepelman responded to the news by affirming that Ortiz has no ties to any illicit activity and has not engaged in any wrongdoing.
“David Ortiz is innocent in what happened. He has no connection to illicit activities, no relationships with people who have criminal connections, nor has he violated his family values that would bring about such an incident,” Hoepelman said.
The retired Red Sox legend, affectionately known to fans as “Big Papi,” was shot in the back while at a nightclub in Santo Domingo on June 9. The bullet entered the former player’s back and exited through his abdomen, leaving him with life-threatening injuries. He was still recovering at a Boston hospital as of Wednesday evening.
Earlier reports indicated that officials believe Ortiz was targeted over an alleged affair with a drug lord’s wife. Prosecutors are now saying he was the victim of mistaken identity.