Error: Your upload path is not valid or does not exist: /home/fjtkrqtorym5/public_html/ Speculation about motive for David Ortiz shooting still rampant in Dominican Republic – Northern Sports Report

Speculation about motive for David Ortiz shooting still rampant in Dominican Republic


As David Ortiz’s condition continues to improve, speculation about the shooting that threatened his life is still running rampant.

Last week’s official explanation by authorities in the Dominican Republic that the retired baseball superstar was not the intended victim of the June 9 attack at a bar in the capital city of San Domingo has been met with skepticism in some quarters, especially in light of juicier rumours for the motive.

Some of those link him to an alleged gambler and other unsavoury figures, as reported by the New York Daily News.

Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez and National Police Chief Ney Aldrin Bautista appeared intent on dispelling any conjecture during an elaborate Wednesday presentation to the news media in which they named a friend of Ortiz’s as the real target.

They said the gunman who shot Ortiz in the back had confused him for Sixto David Fernandez, who was at the same table in the Dial Bar and Lounge that Sunday night. The lawmen also said a cousin of Fernandez named Victor Hugo Gomez was trying to exact revenge for Fernandez supposedly turning him in to police, which landed Gomez in jail eight years ago.

“There are always going to be people who will question the work of the authorities,” Bautista told the newspaper Listin Diario. “An investigation is not what I may say or what you may say, it’s what you present with evidence that has to be gathered by legal means.”

According to the investigation, which has yielded 11 arrests, a hired killer by the name of Rolfi Ferreira Cruz was shown a photo of Fernandez taken the night in question, but the lighting made it look like he was wearing white pants, as Ortiz was, and the gunman confused one for the other.

After he was apprehended, Ferreira Cruz yelled at journalists from his jail cell that he got mixed up and did not mean to harm Ortiz. Ferreira Cruz approached the former slugger from behind and might not have seen his face.

That hasn’t swayed some members of the Dominican public, who point out the 6-3, 240-pound Ortiz is not only widely recognized, but he towers over Fernandez.

“The David Ortiz we know is a tall, strong man, a King Kong,’ “ civil rights leader Eugenio Torres told Listin Diario. “There’s no confusing him with Sixto, who’s slim and has white skin.”

Eliezer Salvador, a regular patron of the Dial who rushed Ortiz to a clinic for treatment and is credited with saving his life, said on a TV show that he queried Big Papi about possible reasons for the sudden attack.

“I would ask him along the way, ‘Papi, this had to be related to a woman,’” Salvador said. “And he said no.”

For those who believe in conspiracy theories, it’s easy to make a case for why those at the highest level of power in the Dominican Republic would be trying to protect Ortiz’s reputation. The country is already grappling with a spate of travellers, and it can’t afford its top international ambassador to be tarnished.

Ortiz, perhaps the most popular player in Red Sox history after he guided them to three World Series championships, is considered a national treasure in his native land.

His exalted status was underscored by Rodriguez’s references to him as “our David Ortiz” and “our beloved Big Papi,” terms that may seem incongruous coming from such a high-ranking law-enforcement officer.

However, they didn’t raise concerns among some U.S. experts in legal ethics.

“Ortiz is a crime victim, not a defendant or party, and I see no problem with an expression of sympathy by the attorney general,” said Steven Lubet, who teaches legal ethics at Northwestern University outside Chicago.

Robert Gordon, a legal historian and expert on prosecutorial ethics who teaches law at Stanford University, voiced a similar opinion.

“Seems to me the AG was simply expressing national pride in (Ortiz),” Gordon said. “Maybe if (Ortiz) were any kind of suspect that might be inappropriate as expressing bias, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.”

Still, with Gomez and two other leading suspects in the intricate scheme still at large, expressing skepticism about the official version of events has joined baseball atop the list of favourite Dominican sports.

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