The Red Sox sent their team plane to the Dominican Republic on Monday to transport David Ortiz to Boston, and doctors have approved his transfer for further treatment once the plane is ready, a source tells ESPN’s Enrique Rojas.
“The level of stability that Big Papi is showing at this moment makes it possible for him to travel immediately,” Dr. Abel Gonzalez told ESPN.
Ortiz, an iconic figure with the Red Sox, was shot Sunday at a club in Santo Domingo. A team of surgeons, led by Dr. Gonzalez, operated on him for six hours and removed part of Ortiz’s intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder. Ortiz also suffered liver damage.
The outpouring of support for Ortiz went far and wide on social media. President Barack Obama and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady were among those who sent get-well wishes.
Authorities say 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.
The gunman was identified as Eddy Feliz Garcia, 25, according to police spokesman Col. Frank Duran Mejia. Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Garcia was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar. He suffered a cranium contusion and trauma to his thorax, left knee and right leg, according to the Dominican Republic’s National Health Service. Garcia was treated at the Dario Contreras Hospital in Santo Domingo and then released to police custody.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista said. Ortiz’s father, Leo, told local media he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.
Ortiz, who was born in Santo Domingo, played major league baseball for 20 seasons and was 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.
Ortiz had helped rally the city after the Boston Marathon bombings that year, giving a speech at Fenway Park, telling the crowd to stay “Boston strong.”
The Red Sox retired his number, 34, in 2017, and Boston renamed a bridge and a stretch of road outside Fenway Park in his honor. He maintains a home in Weston, on the outskirts of Boston.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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