Breaking: David Ortiz reportedly NOT intended target of would-be assassin

In my initial article on the shooting of Red Sox star David Ortiz, I referred to the alleged would-be assassin as a bumbler. That is borne out by the latest reports by Dominican authorities who have indicated that not only did the suspect fail in the murder attempt - he shot the wrong man.

It is easy to see why it took so long for investigators to come out with the name of the kingpin in the plot and the motive behind it. Right from the start, they were faced with sorting out details of a serious crime that took place in a crowded, public place. Add the fact that so many suspects, all with differing versions of the incident, were identified and taken into custody justifies the delay (per CNN's Patrick Oppman et al):

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (CNN)David Ortiz was not the intended target of the murder-for-hire plot that ended with the former Red Sox star being shot, authorities in the Dominican Republic said Wednesday.

Prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez told reporters that a friend of Ortiz, Sixto David Fernandez -- who was seated at Ortiz's table -- was the target of the bungled hit.

The suspected gunman was only sent a photo of Fernandez, who was wearing clothes similar to Ortiz that night. The prosecutor said the lightning made the shooter confuse one for the other.

"The fact that David Ortiz wasn't the target doesn't change anything," Rodriguez Sanchez said. "The law is the same for everybody." The mastermind behind the attack was identified as Victor Hugo Gomez, a cousin of Fernandez.

Gomez was convicted in 2011 of several crimes in the Dominican Republic but has since then being released from prison.
Authorities believe Gomez ordered the killing because he suspected Fernandez turned him in to Dominican investigators back in 2011.

It is interesting that Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, the alleged shooter, reportedly confessed to the armed attack, but stated Ortiz was not the intended target. Some disbelieved his statement, indicating Big Papi was very famous, and very recognizable, in the Dominican Republic. It has now become clear, at least via statements by authorities, that this was a truly-bungled assassination attempt.

David Ortiz is still recovering from the single gunshot wound but his condition has been upgraded to "good". Despite all of the rumors, it now appears that Papi was not the target of the murder plot - has no known connection to the plot's mastermind - and remains a beloved former superstar with an unscathed reputation. This is all good news! But there will always be skeptics.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via Al Bellow/Getty Images