Authorities Identify Person Of Interest In Planned Shooting Of David Ortiz
It’s been more than a week since David Ortiz was shot at a bar in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. There are still many questions left to be answered surrounding the tragic blindside attack on the Boston Red Sox legend. To this point, 10 suspects are in custody and facing charges for the Ortiz shooting. We’ve also learned that the attack may have been coordinated from people currently behind prison cells.
Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota allegedly met with another suspect, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaíno, to discuss a plan one week before Ortiz was shot.
The Boston Globe is reporting that Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, who is still at large, helped orchestrate the shooting. New details have also emerged behind who coordinated the attack. According to the New York Daily News, two jailed suspects, Carlos Alvarez and Jose Eduardo Ciprian Lebron, allegedly helped plot the hit on Ortiz while serving time in a Dominican prison.
Ciprian and Carlos Alvarez helped coordinate the shooting and distributed a $7,800 payment to the would-be assassins from prison. According to the AP, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino, 24, also assembled the hit squad and is expected to spend one year in preventive prison.
Vizcaino allegedly sold an iPhone, that was used to plan the attack, to a woman for $180. This was done so he could quickly dispose of evidence a day after the shooting. Authorities claimed the phone was giving him problems and was the reason behind Perez selling it.
The shooting, which left Ortiz with organ damage, happened after a man, who got off a motorcycle, shot him in the back at point-blank range. The alleged gunman, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, fled from the scene, but the alleged getaway driver, Eddy Feliz Garcia, fell from his motorcycle as he attempted to flee. Garcia was beaten by a crowd before being turned over to police.
Many of the suspects have claimed innocence or have denied charges altogether.
Various reports say it’s unclear if Ortiz was the intended target and many of the suspects have stated that “it was a mistake” or it simply wasn’t them. The various suspects are now facing a number of different charges. They range from attempted murder, attempted homicide, gang activity, gun violations and accessory to attempted murder.
Court documents show that on the Sunday before the shooting, Mota and Vizcaino met to go over details and the plans of the attack. Ciprian would send Mota a photo of the target but documents don’t specify whose picture it was or if Ortiz was in it.
According to the New York Daily News, Ferreira-Cruz told reporters from his holding cell that he mistook Ortiz for the real intended target. “It wasn’t David,” Ferreira-Cruz said. “I got confused by his clothing.”
The attack has brought shock waves to the Dominican Republic as many are still trying to figure out why a national hero like Ortiz could be targeted.
The attack came as a shocker for many around the world but especially in the Dominican Republic where Ortiz has made endless contributions. Some say the attack is a sign of jealousy from the success that Ortiz has had.
“He is the same David Ortiz,” Felix Martinez, who grew up with Ortiz told CNN. “What happens when a person comes from poverty, what they want … when they come to their home country is to be with their people. There are people that are full of envy. That wanted to have that pride, that success.”
While motives are still being investigated, Ortiz has made progress and is recovering back in Boston.
Ortiz’s family posted Father’s Day tributes on Sunday in dedication to the baseball icon. The former slugger continues to make a recovery from the gunshot wound in Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Nothing more to say other than thank you for the sacrifices you have made to give not only me but our entire family the whole world in our eyes. You have worked so tremendously hard while not fully enjoying the fruits of your labor,” Ortiz’s daughter, Alexandria, wrote on Instagram. “The thing you said today that made me pause was: ‘sorry, this isn’t the way we should celebrate Father’s Day’ through invading tears as I can’t wait to show you the Game of Thrones inspired gift.”
Tiffany, Ortiz’s wife, also wrote in an Instagram post that Father’s Day this year “brings with it a new appreciation for life and an awareness in what truly matters.”
“Please celebrate this Papi’s Day with the ones you love. Be present in every moment, don’t get hung up on gifts, material things, titles, fame or fortune,” Tiffany wrote. “Those things can be taken away in a moments notice and all we are left with is the memories of the moments we truly connected and grounded ourselves in true love”