David Ortiz wasn’t the only celebrity shot Sunday night at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo.
The single bullet that pierced the Red Sox legend in the lower abdomen — damaging several of his internal organs — also struck Jhoel López, a TV host in the Dominican Republic who was sitting with Ortiz on the outdoor patio. According to local police, López suffered a right thigh wound and was taken to a private hospital. His wife and fellow TV host Liza Blanco told reporters that the injury was not considered life-threatening.
“I’m fine, I’m recovering,” López told the Dominican newspaper Diario Libre in a WhatsApp message Monday morning.
Blanco told the Santo Domingo-based outlet that her husband did not need surgery and could be released sometime Monday. A photo published by the local broadcast outlet CDN showed Lopez in a wheelchair with a wrap around his thigh.
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La esposa de Jhoel López, Liza Blanco, dio declaraciones la noche de este domingo sobre el estado de salud del comunicador y aseguró que está fuera de peligro y no tuvo que ser intervenido quirúrgicamente. Descarga la aplicación #NoticiasCDNNews📲 y visita nuestro sitio web www.cdn.com.do 💻 para que amplíes estas y otras informaciones. #CDN37 #CDN #RD
Ortiz is also expected to recover, though the 43-year-old retired baseball star needed much more intensive medical care. Doctors reportedly operated on him for six hours early Monday morning and removed parts of his colon, intestines, and gallbladder. He was reportedly in stable condition Monday and could be transferred to Boston for further care.
Police say two young men were involved in the apparent ambush. One was identified as Eddy Vladimir Féliz García, who was captured and beaten by a crowd of people, who handed over the 25-year-old to law enforcement. The second suspect escaped the scene on foot.
Sunday night wasn’t the first time Ortiz and López had hung out. The 38-year-old actor and producer hosts a late-night variety show called “Me Gusta De Noche Con Jhoel López,” on which Ortiz has appeared for sit-down interviews and comedic sketches. The show’s YouTube channel has more than 87,000 subscribers.
Ortiz has also made several appearances this spring on López’s popular Instagram account, which has more than 330,000 followers.
“I love you my bro,” López wrote in Spanish in the captain of a photo of himself out drinking with Ortiz late last month.
Hours before the shooting Sunday night, López posted several videos and a photo with Ortiz on Instagram.
“You know we’re on the street,” he wrote.