In new cellphone video from his holding cell, the man accused of shooting David “Big Papi” Ortiz at a Santo Domingo bar late Sunday claims the Boston Red Sox icon was not his intended target. Dominican police say Rolfy Ferreyra Cruz confessed to shooting Ortiz from point-blank range as part of a nearly $8,000 hit job.
In the video, Cruz peered through the barred window of his holding cell trying to get a message to reporters saying “it’s not David … I was confused.” Cruz claims “they only told me the color of his clothes,” appearing to indicate he didn’t realize it was Ortiz when he fired the shot.
Cruz is one of nine suspects detained in connection with the shooting at the Dial Bar and Lounge. Police rushed the suspects to and from court Thursday running through angry crowds and past reporters as they shouted questions. They tossed each of the prisoners into pickup trucks before jumping in the back themselves and racing off.
Dominican journalist Aris Beltre says the shooting has affected the country greatly, saying Ortiz is not only “Big Papi” in the U.S. but back home in the Dominican Republic too.
In Boston, Ortiz is still recovering in intensive care. In an Instagram post, his daughter wrote, “I find myself complaining on a daily basis … but my dad hasn’t complained once.”
Police said they’re still looking for another suspect who is also wanted in the U.S. for attempted homicide. They have not said who ordered the hit on their country’s most famous athlete or why. A formal hearing for the suspects will likely take place Friday.