This past June the baseball world was shocked when news broke that Boston Red Sox legend and future Hall of Famer David “Big Papi” Ortiz was shot while visiting his native Dominican Republic. While rumors were spreading that the hit-for-hire was the result of Ortiz canoodling with a drug lord’s wifey, it ultimately turned out to be a case of mistaken identity as the hitman claimed Ortiz’s friend was the intended target.
Now the Associated Press is reporting that Dominican authorities have finally taken into custody the “mastermind” behind the shooting, Víctor Hugo Gómez.
Authorities had said last week that they believed Gómez was living in the U.S. and described him as a dangerous fugitive, adding that he was an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel.
He is accused of ordering the killing of his cousin, Sixto David Fernández. Authorities say hit men confused Ortiz with Fernández during the June 9 shooting at a bar in the capital of Santo Domingo. The two men are friends and were sharing a table.
Though police are confident of Gomez’s involvement, the allegedly shot caller took to YouTube to profess his innocence.
Carlos Rubio, Gómez’s attorney, did not immediately return a message for comment. However, he posted a seven-minute video on YouTube on Friday in which his client talks about the case.
“I would never do something like this,” Gómez said, adding that he did not try to kill his cousin, “and least of all David, ‘Big Papi.’”
Gómez, who was wearing a gray T-shirt and a khaki cap, said he made the video because he fears for his life and wanted to reject the accusations as he called on police to investigate the case more deeply.
“I want to clarify that I have nothing to do with any attempt on the life against Sixto David Fernández,” he said. “We’re family.”
Between this shooting and the tourists who’ve found themselves poisoned while on vacation, the Dominican Republic really seems like a “Visit At Your Own Risk” destination these days. Just sayin.’