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David Ortiz in 'good' condition as murder-for-hire plot details emerge

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had his condition upgraded to 'good' Tuesday one week after being shot in the back in the Dominican Republic. Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had his condition upgraded to 'good' Tuesday one week after being shot in the back in the Dominican Republic. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

June 18 (UPI) -- Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had his condition upgraded to "good" by his doctors Tuesday, wife Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement.

Ortiz was shot June 10 by a 9 mm bullet that passed through his intestines and internal organs and also hit his friend who was nearby in the leg.

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"We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston," Tiffany Ortiz said. "David's journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time."

Details of the murder-for-hire plot that led to Ortiz being shot in the back at a crowded bar patio in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic continue to emerge. In all, 10 suspects are in custody and facing charges.

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Dominican prosecutors said Tuesday that a fugitive suspect identified as Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota paid the would-be assassins for the attempted hit on Ortiz.

Rodriguez Mota met with another suspect, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino to discuss the plot one week before Ortiz was shot, court documents show. Jose Eduardo Ciprian and Carlos Alvarez coordinated the shooting and the payment to the hit man from prison.

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Perez Vizcaino, known as "El Hueso" or "The Bone," got a text from Alvarez that had a photo of Ortiz. Perez Vizcaino met with a "criminal group" at a gas station, showed them the photo of Ortiz, the man they were supposed to kill, court documents said.

RELATED Dominican Republic police arrest gunman in David Ortiz shooting

No motive was given for why Rodriguez Mota, who is still on the run, would pay assassins to kill Ortiz.

Many of the accused were recruited out of poor neighborhoods in the Dominican. Nine of them will remain in jail for at least a year awaiting trial.

The gunman, Ferreira Cruz, was arrested Wednesday and confessed to the shooting, prosecutors told CNN. He said he meant to shoot someone else. Ortiz is one of the most recognizable and famous athletes in the country.

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Ortiz had one surgery in the Dominican Republic but was flown to Boston for additional treatment.

Ortiz was a clutch designated hitter for the Red Sox as they broke the World Series curse in 2004 and won two more championships in 2007 and 2013 before retiring in 2016.

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