David Ortiz is recovering in a Boston hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery after being shot by a hired gunman in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday.
The retired ex-Boston Red Sox superstar was shot by a gunman in a restaurant where he dined with a friend in the Dominican Republic at 8:50 p.m. local time in Santo Domingo on Sunday.
Ortiz, 43, was transported from the DR to a Boston area hospital on a private jet sent by his former team on Monday. He underwent surgery to remove parts of his small intestines and his gallbladder.
Witnesses to the shooting that happened at the Dial Bar in Santo Domingo, say the gunman got off a motorcycle and shot the superstar slugger in the back. The bullet passed through his lower back and struck his friend, television host Jhoel Lopez in the leg. Lopez, who is in stable condition, posted this photo taken of him and Ortiz before the shooting.
Ortiz, aka "Big Papi," was loaded into a Rolls Royce owned by a wealthy friend and rushed to a clinic in Santo Domingo, where he underwent surgery.
Police rescued the gunman, Eddy Garcia, who was beaten savagely by witnesses after the shooting. Garcia, 25, was treated at the clinic for head and face lacerations.
A doctor in Santo Domingo gave Ortiz the green light to travel to the United States on a private jet sent by the Red Sox. He was given a presidential-style police escort to the hospital after the plane landed in Boston.
Images on social media show Ortiz lying on a gurney covered with a white sheet. He appears to be in discomfort.
Sam Kennedy, Red Sox president and CEO, said on Monday that Ortiz would be admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital in the West End section of Boston.
"I love David Ortiz," Kennedy told reporters at a press conference in Boston.
"We all love David Ortiz. Telling my kids last night what happened was really difficult."
Ortiz, who retired from baseball in 2016, was on a four-day trip home to see friends, including his son D'Angelo, when he was shot by a gunman who was reportedly hired by a drug lord who believed Ortiz was having an affair with his wife.
Ortiz is seen here with Tiffany Ortiz, his wife of 16 years. They have three children - son D’Angelo, below left, and daughters Alexandra, center, and Jessica.
Former President Barack Obama was among the many celebrities and professional athletes paying tribute to Ortiz on social media.
Obama tweeted: "Six years ago, David Ortiz's spirit and resolve helped us all begin to heal from the Boston Marathon bombing. Today, I want to join many others in wishing him a speedy recovery of his own.
Get well soon, Papi."
Six years ago, David Ortiz's spirit and resolve helped us all begin to heal from the Boston Marathon bombing. Today, I want to join many others in wishing him a speedy recovery of his own. Get well soon, Papi. pic.twitter.com/9orpBgnVI5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 10, 2019
Ortiz won 2 World Series championships with the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox held a moment of silence for Ortiz prior to the start of the game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on Monday, June 10, in Boston.
Photos by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, Kathryn Riley /Getty Images, Moises De Pena/Wireimage, Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images