4:29 PM PT -- Officials say Sixto David Fernandez was the target of the attack because Victor Hugo Gómez believed Sixto "ratted him out" to police years ago.
The gunman who shot David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic earlier this month DID NOT mean to target Big Papi ... so say D.R. officials, who say it was Ortiz's FRIEND they wanted to kill.
D.R. police and prosecutors just announced Sixto David Fernandez -- who was allegedly sitting near Ortiz at Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on June 9 -- was supposed to be the target.
Unclear why Fernandez was the target. We're trying to gather information on who Fernandez is and what he does for a living. All we know so far is that cops say he's buddies with Ortiz.
Officials say the gunman who shot Big Papi from point-blank range in the back was confused by the clothing Ortiz was wearing and fired on him instead of Fernandez.
A cell phone image taken of Sixto by one of the alleged accomplices in the crime was allegedly used to identify Sixto for the hit.
But officials say the gunman mistook white items near Sixto as white pants (Ortiz was wearing white pants that night) ... and that's where the confusion all began.
Officials say they were able to confirm all this because they were able to obtain the picture that was circulated amongst the alleged criminals.
Officials also say a man named Victor Hugo Gómez -- a 43-year-old who's wanted in the United States after being caught in a major federal drug bust -- is the one who ordered the hit.
As we previously reported, officials say at least 10 people were paid around $8,000 to complete the hit.
25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz admitted to being the man behind the gun ... but said from his D.R. jail cell last week Ortiz was NOT his intended target.
Prosecutors say regardless of who the intended target was ... they still plan to pursue serious criminal charges against all of the alleged suspects.
Originally published -- 3:30 PM PT