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Suspect wanted in 2019 shooting of former Red Sox player David Ortiz has been fatally shot in Dominican Republic, police say

Rivas-Clase was fatally shot in Santiago de los Caballeros, in the northern region of the Dominican Republic. He was also wanted for a Reading, Pa. shooting.

Luis Rivas-Clase was wanted in both Reading, Berks County, and the Dominican Republic.
Luis Rivas-Clase was wanted in both Reading, Berks County, and the Dominican Republic.Read moreCourtesy Dominican National Police; Berks County Sheriff's Office (custom credit)

Luis Alfredo Rivas-Clase, the only suspect still being sought in the shooting of former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz, was killed in the Dominican Republic on Sunday by unidentified suspects, according to the Dominican Police Department.

In a Monday news release, Dominican authorities said forensic investigators recovered 27 bullet shells and two walkie-talkies at the crime scene. Rivas-Clase was fatally shot near the entrance of a shopping center in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, in the northern region of the Caribbean country.

Media reports, including those from the country’s largest newspaper Listin Diario, said Rivas-Clase was driving a silver Kia K5 when he was followed, chased, and fatally shot. Police reported Monday he was shot multiple times throughout his body by an unknown number of unidentified people traveling in two vehicles. His body is currently at the medical examiner’s office, which did not provide any details.

On Sunday, members of the Dominican Police Department and District Attorney’s Office arrived at the scene, where Rivas-Clase was found on the ground, next to the car, which also had bullet holes. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body taken to the Regional José María Cabral y Báez Hospital in Santiago, reports say.

On Monday, Col. Antonio Calvo Pérez, spokesperson for the Dominican Police’s Central Cibao Department, said Rivas-Clase, also known as “El Cirujano” — “the Surgeon” — was wanted in connection with various crimes committed in the Dominican Republic this year: He was wanted for a Sept. 24 ransom kidnapping and a Aug. 28 car theft in Santiago de los Caballeros. He was also being sought for his alleged involvement in the June 2019 shooting of baseball legend Ortiz while he was sitting in a group at a bar in the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo. Rivas-Clase was also facing charges in Reading, Pa., in connection with ordering the shooting of a teenager in April 2018.

Ortiz, a first baseman and designated hitter, was shot in the lower back and faced surgeries in the Dominican Republic and the United States to repair his injuries. Authorities have said that he was sitting next to the intended victim of the shooting, and was not himself an intended target.

According to Dominican and Reading police reports, Rivas-Clase played a similar role in the Ortiz and Reading shootings: He helped organize and plan the crimes. In Ortiz’s case, Rivas-Clase was the last of 12 suspects wanted in the 2019 shooting, all the other suspects have been arrested and placed in prison in the Dominican Republic, including the triggerman, who confessed to the shooting.