David Ortiz Suffers Setback ... Required Third Surgery

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David Ortiz suffered a setback in his recovery from gunshot wounds -- and required a third surgery to fix complications earlier this week ... the Red Sox announced Thursday.

Big Papi was shot in the back in the Dominican Republic last month ... but after two surgeries shortly after, his wife and the Red Sox said he was recovering well.

But, the Sox just announced Ortiz suffered complications from the injuries recently ... and needed a third procedure to fix the issues this week.

Good news for Big Papi, the team says he is now "recovering well and is in good spirits."

As we previously reported, Ortiz was shot in the back at point-blank range while he was sitting outside of a nightclub on June 9 ... with the bullet striking his liver and his small and large intestines. 


Ortiz underwent emergency surgery immediately after in the D.R. -- and doctors said they were forced to remove his gall bladder at the time.

Ortiz was flown to Boston just hours later to have a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

David's wife, Tiffany Ortiz, has previously said David was able to sit up and take steps ... and added, "he remains in good condition and continues to recover under the care of Drs. David King and Larry Ronan."

As for the Sox, they say, "We continue to be incredibly appreciative of the kindness and compassion shown to David and to our entire family during this difficult time."

David Ortiz Shooting 'Mastermind' Arrested ... Cops Say

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The mastermind behind the David Ortiz shooting has been arrested in the Dominican Republic, officials say. 

Victor Hugo Gomez is the man who allegedly put the wheels in motion for a team of hitmen to roll up to a popular lounge with murderous intent on June 9.


Of course, Dominican officials have now said they don't believe Ortiz was the intended target that night -- insisting the shooter mistook the MLB legend for a friend who was sitting nearby. 

Ortiz was hit in the back -- but the bullet caused serious damage to several organs including his intestines and liver. After the initial life-saving surgery, Ortiz was flown to Boston where he's been receiving treatment ever since. 

As for Gomez, officials say he put out the hit on Ortiz's friend while Gomez was inside the United States. Officials say Gomez has a criminal record and possible ties to a drug cartel. 

So far, at least 10 people have been arrested in the investigation -- including the shooter Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, who has said on the record that Ortiz was not his target

Story developing ... 

David Ortiz Out of ICU ... Still in Good Condition

David Ortiz's recovery from a shooting continues to go well -- the former Red Sox slugger is no longer in the intensive care unit of a hospital, according to his wife.

The health update came Sunday, courtesy of the team on behalf of Tiffany Ortiz, who says David is out of the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital ... adding that he "remains in good condition and continues to recover under the care of Drs. David King and Larry Ronan."

That's great news, as David was still hospitalized in the ICU as of Tuesday -- 9 days after he was shot in the back at point-blank range earlier this month in the Dominican Republic.


As we reported ... David health status was upgraded from serious to good after he'd been transported from a D.R. hospital to one in the Boston area after undergoing surgery -- where doctors found the bullet struck his liver, his small and large intestines. Ortiz also had his gall bladder removed so the medical staff could work on the affected organs.

According to D.R. officials, David was NOT the intended target -- but got shot after a case of mistaken identity. Police say a man named Sixto David Fernandez was the guy the shooter wanted, allegedly because he'd once ratted out a drug runner to cops.

The alleged shooter, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, was arrested in booked in the D.R. ... at least ten people are believed to connected to the shooting, according to officials there.

David Ortiz Not Intended Target Of Shooting ... D.R. Officials Say

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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

David Ortiz Honored By D.R. Basketball Team ... With Custom Jerseys

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A Dominican Republic hoops team showed MAJOR love for David Ortiz over the weekend ... ditching its normal set of unis for jerseys with Big Papi's face as the logo.

It all went down Sunday ... when Huellas del Siglo -- a local team in the D.R. -- rocked some bright orange gear that featured a picture of Ortiz tipping his Red Sox cap with the words "Big Papi" written underneath.

Of course, Ortiz was nearly killed last week when a man opened fire on his back outside of a nightclub in Santo Domingo.

But, fortunately for everyone, the MLB legend is doing better after surgery ... and Huellas del Siglo was so happy for the news, they broke out the custom jerseys against San Carlos.

"Today we pay homage to the living legend David Ortiz," the team said of the uniforms in Spanish ... "and we continue to pray for his total recovery."

Turns out, the new Papi duds were good luck ... Huellas del Siglo won their game, 83-81.

MLB's Marcell Ozuna On Big Papi Attack ... I Have To Watch My Back In D.R. Now


Cardinals superstar Marcell Ozuna says he ain't scared to return to the D.R. after David Ortiz was shot Sunday ... but he tells TMZ Sports he will have to watch his back in his home country now.

"I'ma be careful," the 28-year-old Santo Domingo native admits.

Ortiz was sitting outside of a bar over the weekend when a man walked up from behind and shot him at point-blank range.

The attack stunned everybody ... and had Dominican natives like White Sox phenom Eloy Jimenez openly admitting he's now scared to go back home.

Ozuna tells us he's not ready to go that far with his feelings on the D.R. yet ... but says he will have to be on high alert when he's back home now.

"I'm not afraid," the outfielder says ... "But I'ma be careful."

As for Big Papi ... his wife, Tiffany, says he's continuing "to make progress" in his recovery from the shooting.

David Ortiz Shooter Speaks Out From Cell ... He Wasn't My Target!

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The man who shot MLB legend David Ortiz issued a desperate statement from his jail cell Thursday -- admitting he pulled the trigger ... but claiming Big Papi was NOT the man he was trying to kill.

25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz peeked his face out through bars in the Dominican Republic to address the hoards of reporters crowded outside the jail ... and made the shocking comments.

"It wasn't supposed to be David," Rolfi said in Spanish from behind a barred window ... explaining it was the color of David's clothing that confused him.

You can also hear another man in the cell -- presumably another suspect in the case -- telling Rolfi in Spanish, "Tell them it wasn't meant for David."

Cruz did NOT reveal who the intended target was -- only suggesting he was sent to the Dial Bar on Sunday to kill another man who was dressed like Ortiz that night.

So far, at least 6 people have been arrested in the attempted murder plot -- and cops are still searching for other suspects ... including Luis Alfredo Rivas-Clase, who is also a suspect in a 2018 shooting in Pennsylvania.

Officials still have not revealed a possible motive for the attack.

Surveillance footage of the incident show 2 men -- including Cruz -- rolling up to the bar on a motorcycle. Cruz walks right up to Ortiz and shoots him in the back before trying to make a getaway.

The motorcycle crashed and the suspects tried to flee -- but one man was stopped and beaten by bystanders.

As for Ortiz ... his wife, Tiffany, says he's been able to sit up and take steps this week ... adding, "He continues to heal and make progress."

David Ortiz Attack New Video Shows The Shooting ... And Motorcycle Crash

Breaking News 6/9/19

Dominican Republic prosecutors have released new video that shows a different angle of a man shooting David Ortiz in the back ... as well as the motorcycle crash that followed the attack.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz and several others were paid around $8,000 to try to kill Big Papi in the D.R. last Sunday night.

Officials say the plan involved two cars and a motorcycle ... and they allege the new video they released late Wednesday shows the whole scene.

You can see in the vid ... two men arrive on the scene riding the same motorcycle, when one gets off near the nightclub that Ortiz is partying at.

The guy casually strolls up the sidewalk ... and then pulls out a gun and fires on the Red Sox legend's back. He then takes off, and gets back on the motorcycle with another man.

But, the new video shows the two men crashed to the pavement just yards away from the shooting ... with one of the men able to flee the scene.

Of course, the other man wasn't able to make a break for it ... getting caught by bystanders and then beaten to a pulp.


D.R. officials say they've arrested six men total in the plot to kill Ortiz so far ... and say there is still at least one man on the run.

As for Ortiz ... his wife, Tiffany, said in a statement Thursday, "David remains in guarded condition in the surgical intensive care following his second surgery. He continues to heal and make progress."

"David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary."

David Ortiz Wife Thanks 'Hero' Who Saved MLB Star's Life

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David Ortiz's wife is shouting out the man who raced the MLB star to the hospital -- crashing his own car in the process -- in the wake of Sunday's assassination attempt in the Dominican Republic.

"I want to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Eliezer Salvador, owner of Presidente Sports, for your quick thinking and swift action on Sunday night," Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement.

"Your heroism and selflessness were the first steps to ensuring David could get the urgent care he required. For that we are eternally grateful."

Salvador runs a sports betting firm in the D.R. and was at the scene when Big Papi was shot Sunday night. When Ortiz went down, Salvador quickly put the legend in his own car and raced to the hospital because he didn't want to wait for an ambulance.

Salvador says he raced at speeds of over 100 MPH and made the trip in under 7 minutes. He later made a social media video showing that he had David's jewelry so the family wouldn't worry.


Tiffany says the quick-thinking decision may have saved David's life.

Ortiz's wife also gave props to the doctors who worked on David.

"To the amazing surgeons, medical team, and staff at the Abel Gonzalez Clinic in the Dominican Republic, there are no words to express our gratitude for the amazing care you provided."

'Without you, our story could have had a tragic ending. You will forever be our guardian angels."

As for David's condition ...

"David remains in guarded condition in the surgical intensive care following his second surgery. He continues to heal and make progress."

"David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary."

David Ortiz Alleged Shooter Arrested ... Officials Say $8k Hit Ordered

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3:32 PM PT -- Dominican Republic police have released the mug shot of the man they say shot Big Papi, 25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz.

D.R. officials also announced they have now arrested SIX total people in connection with the attack on Ortiz ... and say there is at least 1 other suspect still on the run.

The man who allegedly shot David Ortiz has been arrested ... officials announced Wednesday -- saying the shooter, along with 5 other suspects, were paid 400,000 pesos to kill Big Papi.

As we previously reported, Ortiz was shot in the back on Sunday night as he was sitting in an outside patio area of a popular Dominican Republic nightclub.

D.R. cops say two young men drove up to the scene on a motorcycle ... when one of them got off to fire a single bullet into the Red Sox legend's lower back.

Cops say the guys tried to flee the scene on the bike afterward ... but when it fell to the pavement -- they tried to make a run for it on foot.

One of the guys -- the alleged shooter -- was able to escape ... but the other suspect, Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, was beaten to a pulp on the scene by bystanders before he was handed over to cops.

Now, D.R. officials are saying they've caught the suspected shooter and arrested him ... and have also detained 3 additional people they say contributed to the ambush.

Officials say 6 total individuals were paid 400,000 pesos (the equivalent of $8K) to kill Ortiz in what they believe was a highly-orchestrated attack.

They say the ambush involved 2 vehicles and 1 motorcycle ... and announced 5 of the suspects are now in custody, but one remains at large.

A motive has yet to be determined.

During the press conference, officials also presented the gun they believe was used to shoot Ortiz.

Big Papi underwent surgery late Sunday night to repair the damage the bullet caused ... with surgeons saying they needed to remove his gallbladder and parts of his intestines.

David underwent a second procedure on Monday night after he returned back to Boston.

In a statement released Wednesday by Ortiz's wife, Tiffany Ortiz, she said, "His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery."

Originally published -- 1:33 PM PT

David Ortiz Sits Up And Takes Steps At Hospital ... Wife Says

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David Ortiz sat up and walked ... his wife, Tiffany Ortiz, says -- adding that Big Papi "is making good progress towards recovery."

The Boston Red Sox legend was shot in the back on Sunday night in the Dominican Republic ... and he's undergone multiple surgeries to fix the damage that the bullet caused.

But, Ortiz's wife says he's healing up ... saying Wednesday, "Yesterday and this morning, David was able to sit up as well as take some steps."

"His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery."

As we previously reported ... surgeons in the D.R. removed Ortiz's gallbladder as well as parts of his intestines -- and he required a second surgery when he arrived back in Boston on Monday night.

But, his wife says he's recuperating in the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital ... and added, “My family and I again want to thank everyone for their endless love and well wishes, and still ask for privacy while David continues to heal."

Johnny Damon Praises Red Sox ... Thanks Team For Taking Care Of Big Papi


Johnny Damon is putting his issues with the Red Sox aside ... and praising the hell out of the team for the way it's handled the David Ortiz situation, saying the Sox "did such a great job."

Of course, Damon's relationship with Boston's MLB team has been mostly nonexistent since his messy departure from Fenway back in 2005.

Damon and team owner John Henry had a very public feud ... and Johnny has even openly rooted for the Yankees when the two rivals have squared off over the past few years.

But, Damon went on "TMZ Live" on Tuesday and put all his beef with the Sox behind him ... thanking the team for doing "the right thing" and taking care of Big Papi after he was shot in the D.R. on Sunday.

"The Red Sox did such a great job at going down to the Dominican and bringing him back to some of the great hospitals and doctors we have up in Boston," Damon says.

"Thank you, Red Sox, for doing the right thing and getting him up in Boston and taking care of him."

Ortiz landed in Massachusetts on Monday night ... and after a second surgery to repair the damage that a bullet caused -- his wife, Tiffany Ortiz, says he's now "resting comfortably."

Johnny says it wouldn't surprise him to see Big Papi back near the baseball diamond as early as this fall ... saying, "I'm sure it's going to be during the playoffs."

David Ortiz Honored With Moment Of Prayer ... At Red Sox Game

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"He is loved throughout our nation and beyond, yet to us, he is our own adopted son."

The Red Sox kicked off their game Monday with a touching moment for David Ortiz, with the PA announcer asking all 34,422 fans in attendance to stay quiet for a moment of silence for "Big Papi."

As we previously reported ... Ortiz nearly lost his life in a shooting in the Dominican Republic on Sunday night -- and it didn't take long for his MLB city to send up prayers.

"All of us were shocked by last night's news about David Ortiz," the Red Sox PA announcer said before their game against the Rangers ... "And, our community has felt a palpable concern ever since."

"Won't you please join us as we offer a moment of reflection, thought and prayer for a complete healing and a full recovery for our beloved 'Big Papi.'"

The fans at Fenway weren't the only ones tore up over the Papi situation ... Ortiz's ex-teammate and friend, Pedro Martinez, broke down during an appearance on MLB Network.

Ortiz -- who underwent hours of surgery late Sunday night into Monday morning -- is expected to make a full recovery.

The future Hall of Famer is currently in Boston ... getting treatment for his injuries at Massachusetts General Hospital.

David Ortiz Needed 2nd Surgery Now 'Resting Comfortably'

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David Ortiz underwent a SECOND surgery Monday night in Boston to repair injuries he suffered after being shot in the back on Sunday ... his wife, Tiffany Ortiz, announced.

But, she adds Big Papi is now doing fine and is "resting comfortably."

The MLB legend was nearly killed after a man opened fire on his back while he was outside of a nightclub in the Dominican Republic over the weekend.


Ortiz was rushed to the hospital ... and doctors say they had to remove his gallbladder in an attempt to repair damage to his liver and both of his small and large intestines.

But, Ortiz made it out of the surgery just fine ... and afterward, he was flown back to Boston for further evaluation.

While Ortiz's wife says David needed an additional procedure, she says her hubby is "stable, awake and resting comfortably this morning in the ICU where he is expected to remain for the next several days."

Tiffany thanked the Red Sox personally for everything they've done to help Ortiz ... and added, "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and love that we have received during the incredibly difficult time."

MLB's David Ortiz Arrives at Boston Hospital ... With Police Escort

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6/10 8:00 PM PT -- Ortiz is back in Boston and receiving treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital ... this after taking a medical air ambulance back to the States.

A police escort led Ortiz's ambulance to the hospital.

6/10 3:05 PM PT -- Officials in the Dominican Republic say they believe the man they have in custody was NOT the shooter, but rather the getaway driver.

The man accused of shooting Ortiz -- whose identity is still a mystery -- is still on the lam, according to officials.

6/10 2:37 PM PT -- David Ortiz has left the hospital in Santo Domingo and is en route to the airport to fly to Boston.

The flight, organized by the Boston Red Sox, is approximately 4 hours and doctors in the D.R. and in Boston have agreed that Ortiz is stable enough to make the journey.

6/10 1:08 PM PT -- David Ortiz's father, Leo Ortiz, is speaking with reporters in the D.R. -- saying he wants to thank the doctors for "saving my son's life."

Leo said David WILL be transported to Boston -- and explained that David's personal doctors and his wife live in Massachusetts.

David's doctor said the surgery was successful -- noting the bullet struck the liver, the small and large intestines. He says Ortiz's gall bladder was removed to make space to treat the affected organs.

6/10 12:36 PM PT -- Boston Red Sox management just addressed the media and said Ortiz's condition is still serious following Sunday night's shooting but he's stable enough to travel back to the United States.


In fact, the Red Sox have organized for a medical air ambulance to transport Ortiz from Santo Domingo to Boston ... and the goal is to fly him to the U.S. as early as Monday night.

As we previously reported, Ortiz was shot Sunday evening while sitting outside at a club in the Dominican Republic. The incident was captured on surveillance video.


The Red Sox have sent representatives to the Dominican Republic to help and team doctors are aiding in Ortiz's medical care.

Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy told the media, "Our hope is that David will arrive in Boston sometime later tonight. Right now, the clubs exclusive focus is on David's health and well being."

"Please know that we are doing everything we can to support David and his family during this very difficult period."

Kennedy says he's been in touch with David's wife, Tiffany, who expressed gratitude for all the club is doing to help.

Kennedy says it's been an emotional time for him because he knows Ortiz so well -- and explained, "I love David Ortiz. We all love David Ortiz. Telling my kids what happened was really difficult."

6/10 10:38 AM PT -- The Boston Red Sox have sent a jet to the Dominican Republic. They are hoping to fly Ortiz back to the United States as soon as possible to receive medical care.

Ortiz's doctor in the D.R. has told ESPN the MLB legend is stable enough to fly.

6/10 9:07 AM PT -- Barack Obama has also sent a message to Ortiz ... saying, "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."

6/10 8:50 AM PT -- Tom Brady just sent a message to Ortiz ... saying, "Papi defines Boston Strong... get well soon my friend!!!"

6/10 7:58 AM PT -- Cops say there are TWO suspects in the shooting, both young men ... who rolled up to the scene on the same motorcycle.

Cops say after the shooting, both men tried to get back on the bike and drive off ... but the bike fell down so they tried to make a run for it.

The first suspect, Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, was subdued by people at the scene.

The second suspect did escape on foot. Cops have not released the name of the 2nd suspect. They are currently searching for him.

6/10 7:13 AM PT -- TMZ Sports talked to a spokesperson for the Dominican National Police who told us the suspect is in custody and awaiting charges.

The police also confirmed videos showing a man getting pummeled in the street following the shooting IS, IN FACT, THE SUSPECT.


White Sox's Eloy Jimenez Scared To Return To Dominican Republic ... After David Ortiz Shooting

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White Sox phenom Eloy Jimenez says he's downright afraid to return to the Dominican Republic after David Ortiz's shooting Sunday ... telling reporters, "Now, you cannot trust nobody there."

Eloy -- Chicago's star who grew up in the D.R. -- told a group of reporters at his locker Tuesday he couldn't believe it when he heard Big Papi was shot in the back in his home country.

In fact, Eloy says he's legitimately worried to return home now, saying, "When you see one of the best players -- one of the best Dominicans we had -- get shot like that, it's scary for everybody right now."

22-year-old Jimenez says he's grateful Ortiz survived the shooting ... and says the Red Sox legend has done a TON for kids growing up in the D.R.

"He does a lot for Dominicans," Eloy says ... "He represents a lot. And, for me, it's so sad."

As for Ortiz, doctors say he's out of surgery and is in stable condition ... and is currently on his way back to Boston for further treatment.