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Second suspect arrested in David Ortiz shooting, prosecutor says, but role in the attack is unclear

Posted at 11:45 AM, Jun 12, 2019

Police have arrested a second suspect in the shooting of former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz , a spokeswoman for the Dominican national prosecutor's office said Wednesday, but investigators are still hunting for the gunman.

What role the suspect played in the shooting or what charges might be leveled are not certain, but investigators are treating the case as an attempted murder that may have involved more than just the driver and the gunman, the spokeswoman said.

Police are expected to provide details on a complex plot and additional arrests later Wednesday.

The first suspect, Eddy Vladimir Féliz Garcia, was arrested immediately after the attack and appeared in court late Tuesday, charged with being an accomplice to attempted murder in Sunday's nightclub shooting in Santo Domingo.

Documents outlining the charge against Féliz García indicate police have not identified the shooter. Féliz García is accused of driving the shooter to the scene on the back of a motorcycle. Following the shooting, the charging documents say, the shooter fled the scene with his gun in hand.

Police are investigating two cars that were parked near the scene of the shooting, and a witness told police he saw Féliz García and the gunman get into one of the cars before the shooting, the documents say.

Prosecutors asked that Féliz García be held for a year of pretrial detention, but defense attorney Bunel Ramírez Merán told CNN that he argued against the move and requested the judge postpone the decision so the defense could gather evidence.

Merán plans to demonstrate to the court that his client poses no flight risk due to his "family, social and work ties," he said.

The judge said he would rule on the request Wednesday.

Ortiz, 43, and a friend were shot at Dial Bar and Lounge in the Dominican capital. The bullet went through Ortiz's stomach, said Felix Durán Mejia, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police.

Féliz García of Santo Domingo West and a second man tried to drive away after the shooting, but the motorcycle fell to the pavement, police said.

A crowd attacked Féliz García and handed him over to police. Deivi Solano, another of Féliz Garcia's attorneys, said his client is a motorcycle taxi driver and may have unwittingly driven the shooter, but he did not shoot Ortiz.

Justina Garcia, the suspect's mother, said her son is innocent and that the two of them are fans of Ortiz. Her son would never do anything to hurt the baseball legend, she told CNN.

"My son had nothing to do with this," she said, adding that she fears for his safety and wants police to provide added security.

Ortiz is recovering at Massachusetts General Hospital after being flown to Boston to continue his medical treatment. The married father of three took his first steps Tuesday afternoon following a second surgery.

Earlier Tuesday, Tiffany Ortiz said her husband was "stable, awake, and resting comfortably" in the hospital's intensive care unit, where he is expected to remain for several days.

Dubbed Big Papi, Ortiz was reared in Santo Domingo and made his Major League Baseball debut in 1997. A first baseman and designated hitter, Ortiz played 20 seasons before retiring in 2016.

He is best known for his 14 seasons as the Red Sox's designated hitter, during which he helped the team snap its decades-long title drought in 2004. He won three championships with the Sox and was named MVP of the 2013 World Series.