‘Mastermind’ wanted in connection with the shooting of former Red Sox star David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz is arrested in the Dominican Republic and is revealed as a member of an international cocaine and heroin trafficking ring
- Victor Hugo Gómez was arrested Friday by the Dominican National Police
- The 43-year-old Dominican is considered the alleged mastermind behind the shooting that almost killed Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz on June 9
- Big Papi had his his gallbladder and part of his intestine removed by Dominican doctors after the bullet entered his back and exited through the abdomen
- Ortiz, a winner of three World Series with the Red Sox, has been hospitalized in Boston since the day following the shooting
- Dominican authorities investigating the case said say hit men confused ‘Big Papi’ with Sixto David Fernández, Gómez’s cousin
- Investigators said Gómez ordered the hit on Fernández, which he denied in a video recording moments before he was arrested
Authorities in the Dominican Republic said the alleged mastermind wanted behind the shooting of Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz was arrested Friday.
Víctor Hugo Gómez, 43, was apprehend during a Friday morning operation in the Caribbean Country just three weeks after Ortiz was nearly murdered while enjoying a night out with close friends at a local bar in his hometown Santo Domingo.
No further details were immediately released.
Authorities had said last week that they believed Gómez was living in the U.S.
He is accused of ordering the killing of his cousin, Sixto David Fernández.
Authorities say hit men confused ‘Big Papi’ with Fernández during the June 9 shooting at a bar in the capital of Santo Domingo. The two men are friends and were sharing a table.
Dominican authorities announced the arrest of the alleged mastermind of a shooting in the Dominican Republic on June 9 that almost took the life of David Ortiz (pictured)
Víctor Hugo Gómez, 43, was apprehend during a Friday morning operation in the Caribbean Country just three weeks after Ortiz was nearly murdered
The intended target of the shooting was supposed to be Sixto David Fernández (right), Víctor Hugo Gómez’s cousin, but David Ortiz was instead wounded.
The 43-year-old Ortiz was flown to Boston a day after the incident and remains hospitalized there after doctors in the Dominican Republic removed his gallbladder and part of his intestine.
Dominican authorities are also holding several other suspects, including the shooter, Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz, 25, in connection with the shooting of Ortiz, a slugger beloved in Boston for helping the Red Sox end an 86-year championship drought in 2004. He also starred on World Series champion teams in 2007 and 2013.
As Ferreira-Cruz was ushered through a court hallway, he shouted in Spanish to journalists: ‘It wasn’t David, it wasn’t for David… Was confused.’
The hit squad allegedly received $8,000 to carry out the failed assassination plot.
Hours before he was apprehended, Gómez recorded a video in which he claimed his innocence.
‘In case something happens to me, I want to clarify the things that I have nothing to do with any murder against or attempted murder against Sixto David Fernández and much less with David’ Big Papi,’ he said.
‘I’m a family man. I have seven children and I consider myself to be a good person, I don’t harm anyone and I am not interested in harming anyone, ever,’ said Gómez, who is wanted by U.S. authorities for drug trafficking.
‘The reason why I am doing this video is because they are accusing me of ordering an attempt against Sixto David Hernandez, which at no time or for any reason have I been interested or would do something like that.’
Gómez’s arrest appeared on a cellphone video call he placed to his family in the Dominican Republic.
At the time of the attack, Ortiz was with TV personality Jhoel López and Fernández. Ortiz was sitting with his back to the street when he was shot once in the back by a bullet that also injured López.
Víctor Hugo Gómez is wanted by U.S. authorities for drug trafficking
Both Fernández and Ortiz were said to be wearing white pants which led to the alleged confusion.
Fernández had denied he would have been the target, telling local radio show: ‘I am a person who has only one phone number. That works honestly. I am not a man that is economically well situated. I am a normal, ordinary man.
‘I am available when they want to investigate me, I go. But I do not have a single enemy, not a cat. I do not know where these rumors come from.’
The shooting was carried out by two men on a motorcycle who were followed by several suspects in two cars, authorities said.
Eleven suspects have been arrested. U.S. prosecutors said Ferreira-Cruz is wanted on armed robbery and gun charges in New Jersey.