David Ortiz’s reputation would appear to be in the clear after Dominican authorities said his shooting was simply a case of mistaken identity.

There were many questions and rumors swirling around the shooting and speculation about why Ortiz was targeted, but police firmly batted those down, clearing Big Papi of any connection to the alleged suspect who ordered the hit.

But there are lingering questions that surround the case.

The Dominican police and prosecutors had insisted Ortiz was the intended target and dismissed the suspect’s claim that he meant to shoot someone other than Ortiz.
Prosecution spokesman Erick Montilla told CNN that the accused gunman, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, was inventing a “story” in order to avoid being “lynched” when Cruz told the media through his jail cell that he got confused by the clothing of Ortiz.

“He can say whatever he wants in an interview,” Montilla said. “What matters is the investigation and what he said in the interrogation … If you observe the video (of the shooting) he goes directly to where the victim is and shoots without hesitation.”

So what changed in a matter of days? And how was it possible that the hit man didn’t realize that he was shooting Ortiz, one of the most recognizable and famous people in the DR?

Prosecutors didn’t answer that in their long press conference.

They said Ortiz was the victim of a shooting hit gone wrong, and that his friend, Sixto David Fernandez, who was sitting at the same table, was the intended victim.

Fernandez was wearing white pants similar to Big Papi the night of the shooting, and that’s what confused the gunman, according to prosecutors.

So it’s now a case of mistaken pants?

Police said the plot was initiated by Victor Hugo Gomez, a fugitive who is wanted by U.S. authorities. Gomez, an alleged member of a Mexican drug cartel, wanted Fernandez shot because of a longtime beef between the two men.

But the day before, Dominican police identified another fugitive, Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, as the suspect who paid for the bungled hit.

And there are other unresolved questions in the case.

Why was Ortiz fraternizing with a man who was allegedly targeted by a drug cartel fugitive? That connection remains unclear and is bound to raise questions in the coming days.


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