David Ortiz is shown on Sunday hours before being shot with his friend Jhoel Lopez
Police in the Dominican Republic believe former Boston Red Sox star David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz was shot by two cops hired by a Dominican Republic drug lord who believed the baseball player was having an affair with his wife, DailyMail.com has learned.
Three law enforcement sources confirmed the motive on Monday as Ortiz, 43, recovered in the hospital.
The drug lord has not been named.
Ortiz is expected to make a full recovery but suffered liver damage during the six-hour operation, his spokesman said.
The former slugger for the Red Sox was shot in the back at near point-blank range while having drinks with friends including local TV host Jhoel Lopez.
Police have arrested Eddy Feliz Garcia so far but their investigation is ongoing.
Garcia was chased down at the bar by a crowd of Ortiz’s supporters and was beaten relentlessly until police arrived.
Among those who prayed for his recovery on Monday was former president Barack Obama.
Eddy Feliz Garcia is shown being attacked by a crowd of Ortiz’s friends and supporters after allegedly shooting the Red Sox star on Sunday at a bar in the Dominican Republic
Garcia is shown in police custody after being removed from the scene. He suffered extensive injuries before officers arrived
David Ortiz is shown in the center of this image with friends including Jhoel Lopez (far left), hours before he was shot. He is in the hospital and is in a stable condition after having his gallbladder and parts of his intestines removed
In another image taken hours before they were shot, the pair are shown smiling for the camera
Ortiz is shown with his wife Tiffany and two of his three children. He splits his time between the Dominican Republic and Miami. It is unclear if his family was with him on the island when he was attacked
In a video widely shared on social media afterwards, he is filmed claiming not to know anything about the attack.
In Spanish, the crowd yells at him: ‘You don’t know anything? You don’t know anything?’
Ortiz, who retired from baseball in 2016, is from the Dominican Republic and splits his time between the city of Santo Domingo, where the attack happened, and Miami where he lives with his wife and children.
He is well known in Santo Domingo and is known to frequent the bars and restaurants where the attack happened.
Before he was shot, he and Lopez were seen with other men drinking and smoking cigars.
He was sitting at a table with Lopez when the gunman approached him on the back of a motorcycle and shot him in the back.
The crowd seized on Garcia as Ortiz was taken to the hospital.
Initial reports suggested that it was an attempted robbery but police have since dismissed that.
Ortiz is seen sitting in the club (left) before being shot and falling to the ground (right)
Lopez was shot in the leg, possible by the same bullet which entered Ortiz’s body in his back and went straight through him, exiting out of his stomach
‘So far the case is under investigation. Social media networks are speculating many things.
‘We can not give you more details,’ Lieutenant Pimentel of the National Police in Santo Domingo told DailyMail.com on Monday.
Ortiz was rushed into surgery at the Abel Gonzolez Clinic. Before he was operated on, he told doctors: ‘Please don’t let me die, I’m a good man.’
His father said on Monday that he was doing well after the operation.
‘Doctors say that David is out of danger, thank God. What they have told me post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly.
‘Big Papi will be around for a long time,’ Leo Ortiz told
The Red Sox have offered to send a private plane to return Ortiz to medical facilities in the U.S. if needed.
This was the scene of the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on Monday, the day after the shooting
Ortiz previously told of his fears of being hurt in his home country.
Before a 2015 ballgame at Fenway Park, he told a Dominican journalist that he violence in his native country was out of control and that he didn’t feel comfortable carrying a firearm to protect himself in public.
‘This is getting out of hand. I think they need to deal strongly because I like going to my country and I know the people love you and take care of you.
‘But you know that when those dudes are out to get theirs, they are not thinking right and they could care less who is who.
‘And I don’t want to carry an AK-47 inside my car over there. I don’t want to walk around everywhere with a bunch of guns. I am not a gun carrier.
‘I am not a guy looking for trouble. But that’s what the (present) moment is demanding you to do,’ he said.
The shooting sparked an outpouring of support from both former teammates and former opponents.
‘I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon,’ tweeted Pedro Martinez, a former Red Sox pitcher from the Dominican Republic who was an inspiration for Ortiz on his path to MLB.
‘Anxiously waiting for more news. In the meantime, only prayers for @davidortiz, Tiffany and their family,’ tweeted Alex Rodriguez, former slugger for the arch-rival New York Yankees.
Leo Ortiz, father of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, talks to the press outside the clinic where his son is being treated after being shot
Liza Blanco (center), wife of the television host Jhoel Lopez, who was wounded in the shooting, waits at the Abel Gonzalez clinic in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Liza Blanco (center), wife of the television host Jhoel Lopez, is seen speaking to reporters
Family and friends of Ortiz wait in the clinic where he and Dominican television presenter Joel Lopez are being treated after being shot while in a bar in the city of Santo Domingo
The shooting triggered an outpouring of sympathy from other sports stars
Ortiz is married to Tiffany Ortiz and he has three children. It is unclear if they were with him in the Dominican Republic at the time.
‘Thoughts and prayers going out to @davidortiz,’ wrote current Angels star Mike Trout.
Ortiz is beloved in the Dominican Republic, where he is well-known for his charity work with children.
David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox tips his cap after the Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in game three of the American League Divison Series in 2016
In 2007, Ortiz founded the David Ortiz Children’s Fund to help children with cardiac disorders in both the Dominican Republic and New England.
Ortiz ended his 20-year big league career in 2016, when he earned the last of his 10 All-Star appearances.
The former designated hitter and first baseman won seven Silver Slugger awards in his career, and he hit 541 home runs with 1,768 RBIs in 2,408 games in the majors.
He ranks 17th in major league history ion career home runs.
Ortiz began his major league career by playing six seasons for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002), but his career blossomed after he joined the Red Sox.
His postseason heroics helped Boston capture its first World Series title in 86 years in 2004, when he was the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series as the Red Sox overcame a 3-0 series deficit to the New York Yankees in seven games.
He also helped the Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013, capturing World Series MVP honors in the latter season.