SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A wounded David Ortiz was recovering from exploratory surgery in Boston on Tuesday as investigators in his native Dominican Republic tried to figure out who shot the former Red Sox slugger and why.
Ortiz's wife, Tiffany, said in a statement that Big Papi was "stable, awake and resting comfortably" in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and was expected to remain there for several days.
The 43-year-old retired athlete was flown to Boston on Monday night for further treatment, arriving in an air ambulance provided by the Red Sox, after doctors in the Dominican Republic removed his gallbladder and part of his intestine.
Ortiz was shot at close range in the torso Sunday night by a gunman who approached him from behind at a Santo Domingo bar, authorities said.
Police have said the operator of the motorcycle carrying the assailant was captured and beaten by a crowd at the bar. But the gunman has not been arrested, and investigators were trying to establish whether Ortiz was the target.
Ortiz led the Red Sox to three World Series championships — including, in 2004, their first title in 86 years of futility.
With his ferocious swing and his big smile, Ortiz became one of the most beloved sports heroes in Boston history. Fans responded to the shooting with an outpouring of prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery.