‘Big Papi’ Baseball Star David Ortiz Rushed to Surgery After Suffering Gunshot Wound

June 11, 2019 Updated: June 11, 2019

One of Major League Baseball’s most revered modern day athletes was rushed to hospital after suffering a gunshot wound in the Dominican Republic on June 9.

Former Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, 43, is believed to have suffered organ damage when he was fired at in a Santo Domingo club about 8:50 p.m. local time.

Ortiz’s media assistant, Leo Lopez, revealed a team of surgeons had to “remove part of Ortiz’s intestines and colon, as well as his gallbladder,” according to Yahoo Sports.

The surgery took about six hours to complete and finished at about 3:30 a.m. on May 10. Ortiz is in stable condition, expected to stay in intensive care for at least another 24 hours, and make a full recovery.

His father Leo Oritz said he was thankful there was no major organ damage as a result of the shooting.

“Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God,” he told ESPN. “What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly. Big Papi will be around for a long time.”

Ortiz played 20 MLB seasons before retiring at the end of the 2016 season. A 10-time All Star, he spent 14 years with the Red Sox and, in 2004, helped the club win their first World Series since 1918. The Red Sox won two more titles (2007 and 2013) during Ortiz’s time. He was named World Series Most Valuable Player for his performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013.

He was one of the most productive and popular players in Red Sox history, leading the once struggling franchise to three championships before retiring in 2016 with a career total of 541 home runs—the 17th-most in baseball history.

Red Sox Team President Sam Kennedy said the incident “shocked us to the core.”

“It was jarring, stunning and, frankly, terrifying,” Kennedy told The Associated Press. “It was a horrific incident. Our focus right now is exclusively to focus on his health and well-being [and] to get David back here in Boston.”

The Red Sox has offered “all available resources” to help Ortiz make a speedy recovery. This includes the team plane, which the Red Sox reportedly sent to the Dominican Republic on May 10 to transport Ortiz back to Boston for further treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, according to ESPN.

Doctor Abel Gonzalez believes Ortiz’s condition is becoming stable enough to make it possible for him to travel to Boston, and his fellow doctors have all approved the patient’s trip to proceed as soon as the plane is ready.

Dominican Police identified the shooter as Eddy Feliz Garcia, 25, who witnesses claim climbed off a motorcycle and shot Ortiz from a short distance. The bullet is believed to have hit Ortiz in his lower back and passed through his body.

Others at the club allegedly beat and detained Garcia, who the Dominican Republic’s National Health Service confirmed to have cranial contusion, thorax trauma, and injuries to his left knee and right leg. The accused’s injuries have already been treated and he remains in police custody.

Local authorities are still investigating a possible motive for the crime.