BOSTON — Local celebrities, athletes and even political figures are sending all the positive thoughts and prayers to David Ortiz as he recovers after being shot.
The former Boston Red Sox slugger was hospitalized Monday following surgery for a gunshot wound after being ambushed by a man in a bar in his native Dominican Republic, authorities said.
Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said 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. Ortiz was taken to the Abel Gonzalez clinic, where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, Bautista said.
The Boston Red Sox, in a statement early Monday, said they have been notified by Ortiz's family that the former slugger sustained a gunshot wound to his "lower back/abdominal region" and that he is recovering after surgery.
The alleged gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, Bautista said. He said police are waiting until the man undergoes treatment for his injuries before questioning him.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target, Bautista said.
Two other people were wounded, Bautista said, including Jhoel López, a Dominican TV host who was with Ortiz. Bautista said police believe López was wounded by the same bullet.
An outpouring of support flooded social media on Monday morning as people woke up to the news that Big Papi had been shot.
Red Sox Manager Alex Cora sent his message to Big Papi through his Instagram account, saying "#KeepSmiling Brother "because nothing is impossible for God," quoting Luke 1:37.
Jackie Bradley Jr. also took to Instagram to wish Ortiz a speedy recovery with a caption that read "Prayers sent up for @davidortiz! 🙏"
The bullet, which went in through Ortiz's back and out through his abdomen, perforated parts of his intestines and colon, which had to be removed, along with his gallbladder. His liver was also damaged in the incident.
Ortiz will be transported back to the U.S. as soon as he is stable enough to fly.
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