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Suspect in David Ortiz Shooting Was Wanted in New Jersey, Police Say

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — American prosecutors said they believe two suspects in the shooting of the retired Red Sox star David Ortiz are wanted for crimes in the United States, while the father of another suspect said his son belonged to a Dominican gang of drug-dealing hitmen.

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 after two operations, one in the Dominican Republic and one in Boston.

Prosecutors in New Jersey said on Thursday that a bench warrant on armed robbery and gun charges had been issued for the man who authorities in the Dominican Republic say pulled the trigger. Another suspect in the shooting, a Pennsylvania prosecutor said, is believed to be wanted for attempted homicide in the state.

A grand jury indicted Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz in connection with two armed robberies in Clifton, N.J., in 2017, according to news release from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office. A 25-year-old from Reading, Pa., Ferreira-Cruz has never been apprehended on those charges.

The authorities in the Dominican Republic have said they have a Rolfy Ferreyra in custody and that he has confessed to the shooting. The New Jersey prosecutors did not address the difference in spelling but said the man they were looking for was the suspected shooter in the Ortiz case.

It was not clear Thursday night if Ferreira-Cruz had a lawyer representing him in the New Jersey case.

Earlier in the day, Berks County District Attorney John Adams said he believed Luis Rivas-Clase — who is being sought in the Ortiz shooting — was the suspect wanted for a shooting in Reading in 2018. He cautioned that confirmation would have to come through a fingerprint match.

The authorities in Pennsylvania released a mug shot of Rivas-Clase that strongly resembles the suspect in an image provided by the Dominican authorities, who provided the same name but without the hyphen listed in U.S. court documents.

On Thursday, the Dominican authorities brought in the five suspects from Wednesday along with several additional suspects, including a woman. The nine were rushed to the court in a police pickup truck accompanied by heavily armed police for their first appearance, during which charges were presented against them so they could continue to be held.

Ortiz’s family said Thursday that he was still in 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.

The 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 said.

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 a lawyer in the attempted homicide case.

The authorities in the Dominican Republic said Rivas-Clase was still at large.

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 a local television morning show, “The Alarm Clock,” that he had severed relations with his son, Oliver Moisés Mirabal Acosta, after he was linked to a home used by a gang led by Junior Minaya Germán, who is known as Gilbert.

Gilbert was fatally shot by police in 2013, according to the Dominican news 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 former 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.


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