Intended target of David Ortiz shooting doubts Dominican authorities, says he has no enemies

Alex Reimer
June 21, 2019 - 11:08 am

It came as a surprise when Dominican authorities announced Wednesday they determined David Ortiz was not the intended victim of the apparent assassination attempt at the Dial Bar and Lounge, including to the alleged actual target. 

Sixto David Fernandez, who Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez said was the desired victim, questioned his reported involvement in a radio interview last week –– days before police made their official announcement. According to law enforcement, Fernandez’s cousin, fugitive Victor Hugo Gomez, wanted him dead because he reported him to U.S. officials in 2011.

“I’m just a businessman,” Fernández said June 14 on 106.5 FM, per the Boston Globe. “I have a garage shop.”

Ortiz, who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 230 pounds, is one of the most recognizable figures in the Dominican Republic. Due to his immense stature, even Dominican authorities dismissed the mistaken identity theory when the alleged gunman, Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, said last week he meant to shoot somebody else.

But now, they say they’ve changed their tune, due to new evidence. At least 11 people have been arrested so far in connection to the shooting. 

On Tuesday, Ortiz’s attorney said his client did not engage in any illicit activity that would’ve propelled somebody to order a hit on him. The Daily Mail reports Ortiz was seeing the wife of a drug kingpin, Dominican fashion model Maria Yeribell Martinez Garcia, which prompted the kingpin to target Ortiz. 

Receipts show Ortiz purchased Garcia an $85,000 Lexus one day before the shooting. She was also videotaped getting into an altercation with members of Ortiz’s entourage at the Santo Domingo hospital June 9.

Fernandez, for his part, says he doesn’t possess a single enemy. The extent of his interactions with law enforcement are unclear. 

“I don’t have a single enemy,” he said in the radio interview. “I don’t know where these rumors came from.”