SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — U.S. prosecutors said Thursday that one suspect in the shooting of former Red Sox star David Ortiz is believed to be wanted in Pennsylvania for attempted homicide, while the father of another suspect said his son belongs to a notorious Dominican gang of drug-dealing hitmen.
Berks County District Attorney John Adams said he believes Luis Rivas-Clase to be the suspect wanted for a Reading, Pennsylvania, shooting in April 2018, although confirmation would have to come through a fingerprint match.
Pennsylvania authorities have released a mug shot of Rivas-Clase that strongly resembles the suspect in an image provided by Dominican authorities, who provided the same name but without the hyphen listed in U.S. court documents.
Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Dominican officials announced Wednesday that they had detained the suspected gunman and five accomplices. Ortiz is now in a Boston hospital recovering from surgery in both the Dominican Republic and Boston.
Later Thursday, Dominican authorities brought in the five suspects from Wednesday along with a handful of additional suspects, including a woman. The nine were rushed to the court in a police pickup truck accompanied heavily armed police for their first appearance, during which charges will be presented against them so they can continue to be held.
Ortiz's family said Thursday that he is still an intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. "He continues to heal and make progress. David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary," a statement said.
American authorities don't expect to see Rivas-Clase, 31, back in Pennsylvania to face trial anytime soon, if ever.
"Since this individual would be subject to charges in the Dominican Republic, the chance of us getting him back is frankly far-fetched," Adams told The Associated Press.
Separately, Rivas-Clase has also been charged with providing false identification to law enforcement and driving without a license in Reading. Bail was set at $10,000, and records show bond was posted on Nov. 29.
But Rivas-Clase skipped bail and was subsequently declared a fugitive, according to an online docket. His attorney in that case did not immediately return a message, while court records do not list an attorney in the attempted homicide case.
Authorities in the Dominican Republic say Rivas-Clase is still at large.
Meanwhile, the father of another suspect in Sunday's shooting of Ortiz at a bar said his son is a member of gang of hired assassins and low-level drug dealers known as the Gilberts.
The father, Nisdean Mirabal, told local television morning show "The Alarm Clock" that he had severed relations with his son, Oliver Moisés Mirabal Acosta, after he was tied to a home used by the gang led by Junior Minaya Germán, who is known as Gilbert.
Gilbert was fatally shot by police in 2013, according to Dominican media.
Nisdean Mirabal said his efforts to dissuade his son from criminality failed.
"He shocked me, saying, 'I love Gilbert more than I love you.' When he said that, we went our separate ways," Nisdean Mirabal said.
Mirabal Acosta was arrested Tuesday in the town of Mao, in the northern Dominican Republic. He is accused of driving a car used to stalk Ortiz before two other young men on a motorcycle shot the slugger in the back.
The alleged gunman is seen on surveillance video exiting the car before mounting the motorcycle.
"I know, from the video and the information that's been put out, that he's one of those responsible, and he needs to pay for what he's done," the father said.