Pedro Martinez pays emotional tribute to David Ortiz

David Ortiz

"We as for privacy as David works towards recovery".

Authorities said Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot Ortiz in the back at almost point-blank range around 8:50 p.m. local time at the Dial Bar and Lounge.

Eliezer Salvador, a witness who drove Ortiz to the hospital, said the gunman said nothing, and just fired once.

Ortiz initially underwent emergency surgery in his native Dominican Republic after the shooting at a Santo Domingo night club.

The Red Sox retired his number, 34, in 2017, and Boston renamed a bridge and a stretch of road outside Fenway Park in his honor.

Dr. Abel Gonzalez, who performed the surgery, said part of Ortiz's intestines and liver were removed.

"No, my brother", Ortiz replied, according to Salvador.

"Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God", Ortiz's father, Leo Ortiz, told ESPN.

A suspect has been identified, but the motive in the shooting remains unclear.

Although initial reports suggested that Ortiz was shot during a robbery, police no longer believe that to be the case. Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, the director of the Dominican National Police, said a group of people at the bar surrounded the suspect and beat him before police arrived, per ESPN.

Dozens of fans crowded the hospital in Santo Domingo where Ortiz was being treated, causing a traffic jam. Police said he was shot in the torso at close range.

The gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, and police were waiting for him to undergo treatment for his injuries before questioning him, authorities said. "Ortiz is now in intensive care, but considered stable". Multiple media reports indicated that Dominican television host Jhoel Lopez was also shot in the incident, possibly by the same bullet.

The former slugger, affectionately known as Big Papi, won three World Series titles with the Red Sox and clubbed countless clutch home runs. He was named World Series MVP in 2013, when he helped the Red Sox knock off the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ortiz began his major league career by playing six seasons for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002), but his career blossomed after he joined the Red Sox.

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