Two Suspects Arrested in David Ortiz Shooting

June 12, 2019 Updated: June 12, 2019

Police have arrested a second suspect in the shooting of former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, a spokeswoman for the Dominican national prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday, June 12.

What role the suspect played in the shooting or what charges might be leveled are not certain at this point, but investigators are treating the case as an attempted murder that may have involved more than just the driver and the gunman, the spokeswoman said.

The first suspect, Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, was arrested immediately after the shooting and appeared in court late Tuesday, charged with being an accomplice to attempted murder in Sunday’s nightclub shooting in Santo Domingo.

David Ortiz shooting
Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, in custody in connection with the shooting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is transferred by police to court in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on June 11, 2019. (Roberto Guzman/AP Photo)

Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia was held by police in connection with the shooting of Ortiz at a nightclub Sunday night.

Prosecutors asked that he be held for a year of pretrial detention, but defense attorney Bunel Ramírez Merán told CNN that he argued against the move and requested the judge postpone the decision so the defense could gather evidence.

Merán said he plans to demonstrate to the court his client would not present a flight risk due to his “family, social and work ties.”

The judge said he would rule on the prosecution request Wednesday.

Ortiz and a friend were shot Sunday night at the Dial nightclub in Santo Domingo.

Ortiz, 43, was struck in the back, and “the bullet went through his stomach,” Felix Durán Mejia, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police, told CNN. Ortiz is recovering at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital.

Féliz García and a second man arrived at the nightclub on a motorcycle before one of them opened fire, police said. The two tried to drive away after the shooting, but the motorcycle fell to the pavement, police said.

A crowd attacked Féliz García and handed him over to police. Deivi Solano, Féliz Garcia’s attorney, said his client is a motorcycle taxi driver and may have unwittingly driven the shooter, but he did not shoot Ortiz.

Justina Garcia, the suspect’s mother, said her son is innocent.

“We really like him, and my son and I are fans of his,” Justina Garcia told CNN. “My son had nothing to do with this.”

Justina Garcia said she wants police to provide security for her son because she fears for his safety.
Féliz García, who has a 2017 drug charge, lives in West Santo Domingo.

On Monday, the Red Sox sent a plane to carry the retired star, a married father of three, to Boston from the Dominican Republic.

Strides In His Recovery

Ortiz took his first steps on Tuesday afternoon after undergoing a second surgery to address his injuries.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tiffany Ortiz said her husband was “stable, awake, and resting comfortably” in Mass General’s intensive care unit, “where he is expected to remain for the next several days,” according to a statement released by the Major League Baseball club.

David Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, was raised in Santo Domingo and made his Major League Baseball debut in 1997. A first baseman and designated hitter, Ortiz played 20 seasons before retiring in 2016.
He is best known for his 14 seasons in Boston as the Red Sox’s designated hitter.

david ortiz takes first steps
Boston Red Sox baseball great David Ortiz wipes a tear at Fenway Park in Boston as the team retires his number “34” worn when he led the franchise to three World Series titles on June 23, 2017. (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)

In 2004, Ortiz helped the Red Sox win their first championship since 1918, ending the “Curse of the Bambino.” Fans, mostly tongue-in-cheek, blamed the team’s decades-long championship drought on the 1919 decision to trade legend Babe Ruth, aka the Bambino, to the rival New York Yankees.

Ortiz played on the Red Sox World Series championship teams of 2007 and 2013. He was named World Series MVP in 2013.

He is beloved in Boston for many reasons, including his charitable work through his foundation and his love for the city.

Ortiz emerged as a champion for the city in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 200 others in 2013.

“This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox. It says Boston,” he said, standing on the infield as the crowd cheered police officers on the field.

“This is our [expletive] city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong,” Ortiz said.