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David Ortiz undergoes more surgery in Boston after shooting

Michael Weissenstein and Martín José Adames Alcántara
Associated Press
In this June 23, 2017, file photo, Boston Red Sox baseball great David Ortiz wipes a tear at Fenway Park in Boston as the team retires his number "34" worn when he led the franchise to three World Series titles. Ortiz was back in Boston for medical care after authorities said the former Red Sox slugger affectionately known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – A wounded David Ortiz was recovering from exploratory surgery in Boston on Tuesday as investigators in his native Dominican Republic tried to figure out who shot the former Red Sox slugger and why.

Ortiz spokesman Leo López said Big Papi was expected to remain in intensive care for at least 48 hours.

The 43-year-old retired athlete was flown to Boston on Monday night for further treatment, arriving in an air ambulance provided by the Red Sox, after doctors in the Dominican Republic removed his gallbladder and part of his intestine.

Ortiz was shot at close range in the torso Sunday night by a gunman who approached him from behind at a Santo Domingo bar, authorities said.

Police have said the operator of the motorcycle carrying the assailant was captured and beaten by a crowd at the bar. But the gunman has not been arrested, and investigators were trying to establish whether Ortiz was the target.

Ortiz led the Red Sox to three World Series championships – including, in 2004, their first title in 86 years of futility.

With his ferocious swing and his big smile, Ortiz became one of the most beloved sports heroes in Boston history. Fans responded to the shooting with an outpouring of prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery.