BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Former Red Sox Slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz is recovering after he was shot in the back in his native Dominican Republic Sunday night according to authorities.
The shooting happened while Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo around 8:50 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range said Dominican Republic National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte.
Surveillance video posted online by El Nuevo Diario, a newspaper based in that country, appears to show a man walk towards Ortiz from behind and shooting him.
Once the gun fires, Ortiz is seen falling from his chair and people in the bar scatter.
Warning: Some viewers way find the following video disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista Almonte said.
According Bautista Almonte, the alleged gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar. He said police are waiting until the man undergoes treatment for his injuries before questioning him. According to authorities, two other people were wounded, including Jhoel López, a Dominican TV host who was with Ortiz. Police believe López was wounded by the same bullet.
López was shot in the leg and his injuries were not life-threatening, said his wife, Liza Blanco, who is also a TV host to the Associated Press. The third person was not identified.
“This man deserves better! Everyone started running, even security! My God, he’s a hero!” said Elizeiel Salvador, a man who says he drove Ortiz to the hospital.
Warning: Video contains sensitive language in Spanish. Viewer discretion is advised.
He says among other things -- that he took Ortz to the best hospital where they treat gunshot wounds. Salvador added that "everyone ran away -- even security." He also called Oritz "a hero, and said he deserves better."
According to Leo Ortiz, David Ortiz's father, the former slugger was in stable condition after undergoing surgery late Sunday night.
ESPN reports that David Ortiz’s assistant said doctors had to continue working on him late into the night,when parts of organs had to be treated/removed. He also said Ortiz was in intensive care but considered stable.
Ortiz retired from baseball at the end of the 2016 season and is a special assistant to the Red Sox. He maintains a home in his native Dominican Republic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.