Former Boston Red Sox slugger and Dominican star David Ortiz is out of surgery and doing "fine," according to his family, after he was shot Sunday at a club in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Ortiz's media assistant, Leo Lopez, told ESPN's Enrique Rojas that Ortiz is stable but still in intensive care.
"Doctors say he is out of danger, but he is heavily sedated and will be in intensive care for the next 24 hours," Lopez said.
Lopez, a veteran reporter, said that once Ortiz is fully stabilized they expect he will be transferred to Boston for further treatment.
According to Lopez, the operation lasted six hours and was performed by three doctors, led by Dr. Abel Gonzalez. The team had to remove part of Ortiz's intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder. Ortiz also suffered liver damage.
"Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God," Ortiz's father, Leo, told ESPN. "What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly."
Leo Ortiz added: "Big Papi will be around for a long time.''
Authorities say David Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range around 8:50 p.m. local time Sunday at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo.
Ortiz, 43, was taken to the Abel Gonzalez Clinic, where he underwent surgery.
"We do not know at this point if any additional surgery is required but if it is, it will be done in the United States," Lopez said.
The gunman was initially identified by police as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia. However, authorities later said there were two suspects: the suspected shooter and Garcia, who was identified as the suspected driver of the motorcycle.
Garcia was detained by a crowd at the bar and beaten. He suffered a cranium contusion and trauma to his thorax, left knee and right leg, according to the Dominican Republic's National Health Service. He was treated at the Dario Contreras Hospital in Santo Domingo and then released to police custody.
The other suspect has not been identified.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said. Leo Ortiz told local media he has no idea why someone would have shot at his son.
Two other people were wounded, Bautista said, including Jhoel Lopez, a Dominican TV host who was with David Ortiz. Bautista said police believe Lopez was wounded by the same bullet.
Lopez was shot in the leg, and his injuries were not life-threatening, said his wife, Liza Blanco, who is also a TV host.
Police did not identify the third person or detail that person's injuries.
Dionisio Soldevila, a reporter from the Dominican Republic who hosts a radio show with ESPN's Rojas, told ESPN that he spoke with the doctor who first treated Ortiz and was told Ortiz was shot in the lower back and that the bullet went through his body. According to Soldevila, Ortiz told his doctors, "Please don't let me die. I'm a good man."
The Dial Bar and Lounge is located in eastern Santo Domingo on Venezuela Avenue, a bustling nightlife district packed with dance clubs and pricey bars that Ortiz is known to frequent. Ortiz, who lives at least part of the year in the Dominican, is often seen getting his cars washed and hanging out with friends, including other baseball players, artists and entertainers.
Hall of Fame pitcher and fellow Dominican Pedro Martinez was among several current and former baseball players to send out tweets in support of Ortiz.
I'm at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can't wait to hear your voice. My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon.— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) June 10, 2019
Me siento tranquilo de saber que estás fuera de peligro, usted es fuerte Compai, ya quiero oírle la voz. Orando, nos vemos pronto pic.twitter.com/jdSnNsM7eI
Ortiz, who was born in Santo Domingo, played major league baseball for 20 seasons and is best known for the 14 years he spent with Boston.
The Red Sox issued a statement late Sunday night that said in part, "We have offered David's family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts."
Ortiz made 10 All-Star teams and won three World Series with the Red Sox before retiring in 2016. He was named World Series MVP in 2013, when he helped the Red Sox knock off the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.