A second suspect has been arrested in the brazen ambush shooting of Boston Red Sox icon David “Big Papi” Ortiz that occurred at a crowded nightclub in the Dominican Republic, according to authorities.
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The man was arrested Tuesday night in connection with the shooting that left Ortiz with a bullet wound to the back, a Dominican police official told ABC News.
Julieta Tejada, a spokeswoman for the national prosecutor’s office in the Dominican Republic, also confirmed to reporters in a WhatsApp text that a second suspect had been taken into custody in the apparent targeted attack on the retired Red Sox slugger, who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, according to The Associated Press.
The name of the second suspect in custody was not immediately released.
His arrest came just hours after another man arrested in the immediate aftermath of Sunday night’s shooting was charged with attempted homicide, according to his lawyer.
Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, 25, was nabbed by onlookers and beaten before being turned over to police minutes after the 43-year-old Ortiz was severely wounded at the Dial Bar and Lounge, a nightclub in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. Ortiz was treated at a hospital for his injuries.
Photos of officers escorting Garcia into a police station following his release from a hospital showed him with stitched up gashes on his forehead and nose, a fresh bruise above his right eye and a busted lower lip.
The investigation is ongoing and police have not said if one of the two men in custody is the person seen in surveillance video walking up behind Ortiz as he was sitting at the bar and shooting him in the back at close range. It was unclear Wednesday if more arrests are expected.
Police have yet to comment on a possible motive for the shooting but have ruled out robbery.
Garcia allegedly confessed to playing a role in the shooting, according to police. But his attorney, Bunel Ramirez Meran, said Tuesday night that Garcia is not the gunman who shot Ortiz. Meran said Garcia is innocent.
Charging papers obtained by ABC News show that Garcia is charged with “intentionally causing injury through the use of an illegal firearm” in addition to attempted homicide and criminal association.
Garcia has been remanded into custody while legal proceedings are underway, documents showed.
Frank Félix Duran, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police, said that Garcia confessed to playing a role in the shooting, but he would not elaborate on what the suspect told the police.
Meran said that Garcia is accused of being the motorcyclist who drove the shooter to the Dial Bar and Lounge. Meran noted there is no legal distinction between being the author or the accomplice to a crime in the Dominican Republic.
After being shot and collapsing at the bar as a crowd of patrons scattered at the sound of gunfire, Ortiz underwent surgery at a Santo Domingo hospital. During the operation, doctors removed part of his small and large intestines and liver.
He was flown to Boston late Sunday night on an air ambulance jet chartered by the Red Sox team and underwent a second surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“David continues to recuperate today in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital under the direction of treating trauma surgeon Dr. David King,” Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said in a statement released Wednesday.
“Yesterday and this morning, David was able to sit up as well as take some steps. His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery,” she added. “My family and I again want to thank everyone for their endless love and well wishes, and still ask for privacy while David continues to heal.”
The security camera footage from the Dial Bar and Lounge acquired by ABC News shows a chaotic scene erupt as the gunman boldly approached Ortiz from behind and shot him without warning and in front of numerous witnesses.
Jhoel López, a TV host in the Dominican Republic, was speaking to Ortiz at the bar when the shooting broke out and was also injured, according to The Associated Press. Lopez suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was struck in the leg, apparently by the same bullet that hit Ortiz.
ABC News’ Kirit Radia contributed to this report.