Dominican police now say suspects offered $30,000 in mistaken identity David Ortiz shooting

Alex Reimer
July 02, 2019 - 10:41 am

Dominican authorities keep changing their story on the David Ortiz shooting three weeks after the fact. The latest alteration to the narrative came Sunday, when National Police spokesman Frank Felix Duran Mejia said the bounty for the shooting was $30,000, rather than the $7,800 figure that was originally announced.

Dominican police still say the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, with the gunman meaning to target the man seated across from Ortiz at the Dial Bar and Lounge, Sixto David Fernandez. The island’s attorney general said two weeks ago Fernandez’s cousin, Victor Hugo Gomez Vasquez, put out the hit on him. Apparently Vasquez, a drug trafficker, believes Fernandez gave him up to U.S. authorities in 2011. Vasquez was arrested last week.

In total, 14 suspects have now been apprehended in connection to the case. The person accused of renting a hideaway apartment to Gomez Vasquez, Junior Cesar La Hoz Vargas, was arrested Sunday. Late last week, authorities also arrested Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, the man who’s suspected of distributing cash payments to the alleged perpetrators. Police say Mota scouted the bar before the shooting, sending over a photo of the target. Video surveillance shows Mota is the only person in the bar who doesn’t react when the shooting happens.

The alleged gunman, Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, says he mistakenly shot Ortiz because he was only told the color of the intended victim’s clothing. Mota’s photograph made it appear as if both Ortiz and Fernandez were wearing white pants, according to authorities. 

In a recent radio interview, Fernandez denied any involvement in the case. 

Earlier this month on “Mut & Callahan,” former Red Sox security official Eddie Dominguez, who authored the tell-all book “Baseball Cop,” said he doesn’t think we’ll ever get the full truth about the Ortiz shooting from the Dominican authorities. His commentary looks more prescient with each passing day.

“David is very popular in the D.R. He’s loved there, no question about that,” Dominguez said. “I’m sure they’re going to try to put the best spin possible on it, but I’m not quite sure you’ll ever get the whole story from the Dominicans. I think the only way you’ll get to the bottom of this is if United States law enforcement officials get involved.”

Related: David Ortiz mistaken identity theory is full of holes