Baseball star David Ortiz shot in ambush at Dominican Republic bar

David Ortiz was shot in the back Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Former Boston Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz has been ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back in his native Dominican Republic.

Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Mr Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo at around 8.50pm on Sunday when the gunman approached from behind and shot him.

Mr Ortiz was taken to the Abel Gonzalez clinic, where he underwent surgery, and his condition was stable, Mr Bautista said.

Leo Ortiz (centre), father of David Ortiz, talks to journalists at the hospital. Credit: AP

Mr Ortiz’s father, Leo, speaking to reporters outside the clinic, said his son was out of danger and there was no collateral damage, meaning there was no damage to major organs. He said he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.

“He is out of surgery and stable; he is resting,” Leo Ortiz said. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”

The alleged gunman was captured and beaten by a crowd of people at the bar, Mr Bautista said. He said police are waiting until the man undergoes treatment for his injuries before questioning him.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Mr Ortiz was the intended target, Mr Bautista said.

Two other people were wounded, Mr Bautista said, including Jhoel Lopez, a Dominican TV host who was with Mr Ortiz. Mr Bautista said police believe Lopez was wounded by the same bullet.

Mr Lopez was shot in the leg and his injuries were not life-threatening, said his wife, Liza Blanco, who is also a TV host.

Police did not identify the third person or detail that person’s injuries.

The Boston Red Sox, in a statement, said they have been notified by Mr Ortiz’s family that the former slugger sustained a gunshot wound to his “lower back/abdominal region” and that he is recovering after surgery.