David Ortiz was targeted by drug kingpin in 2019 shooting, PI says

Ortiz was seriously wounded in the June 2019 shooting

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Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz was targeted in a 2019 shooting by a Dominican drug trafficker because the kingpin was jealous of the baseball star and felt disrespected by him, private investigators hired by the former player to look into the near-fatal attack said Saturday.

Former Boston police commissioner Edward Davis’ findings were first reported by the Boston Globe. Davis said he identified the ringleader of the shooting as César Peralta. Davis said Peralta orchestrated the shooting by putting a bounty on the slugger and sanctioning a hit squad to try and kill him.

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Red Sox's David Ortiz speaks during a news conference before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, in Boston, on Sept. 30, 2016.

Red Sox's David Ortiz speaks during a news conference before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, in Boston, on Sept. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

According to the report, Dominican authorities didn’t cooperate with Davis’ investigation.

Peralta has not been charged in relation to Ortiz’s shooting. He’s being held without bail in Puerto Rico on unrelated charges of conspiracy to import cocaine and heroin. The U.S. Treasury designated Peralta a drug kingpin in 2019 and he was extradited to the U.S. territory in December.

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David Ortiz of the Red Sox walks on the field before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Sept. 5, 2021, in Boston.

David Ortiz of the Red Sox walks on the field before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Sept. 5, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

"As bad as César Peralta is, it’s not even close to being in the ballpark to say he had something to do with this," said Joaquin Perez, Peralta’s lawyer.

Dominican authorities have pointed to Sixto David Fernandez being the target and not Ortiz. Authorities said the hitmen mistook Ortiz for Fernandez.

David Ortiz prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees in Boston, Sept. 9, 2019.

David Ortiz prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees in Boston, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

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Ortiz was seriously wounded in the June 2019 attack. His gallbladder and part of his intestine was removed after the shooting in the Dominican Republic. He returned to the Boston area and underwent further surgery before being discharged.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.