By Kristina Rex

BOSTON (CBS) – After prosecutors in the Dominican Republic announced that Red Sox legend David Ortiz was not the intended target of a June 9th shooting and that it was a case of mistaken identity, Red Sox Nation – and seemingly the internet at large – was skeptical.

In a Sports Illustrated Column, legal expert Michael McCann calls Ortiz “among the most unlikely victims ever of mistaken identity.”

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Dominican prosecutors say the suspected gunman, Rolfy Ferrerya Cruz, actually intended to shoot a man named Sixto David Fernandez, who sat at the nightclub near David Ortiz.

Legal expert Michael McCann (WBZ-TV)

Fernandez is the cousin of the alleged mastermind of the murder plot. They claim Cruz mixed the target up with Ortiz because they were both wearing white pants.

“It was very surprising, because we know that David Ortiz is one of the most recognizable persons around, particularly in the Dominican Republic of all countries,” McCann told WBZ. “It is a narrative that just doesn’t strike one as particularly persuasive, given that David Ortiz is famous, given his size, given just his recognition. He’s not someone who would blend in.”

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Sox fans agree. “I think it’s kind of hard to have a mistaken identity with David Ortiz. You don’t mistake him for somebody else on the street,” said JT Hilyer, a fan from Dallas, Texas.

David Ortiz was shot outside a bar in the Dominican Republic, Sunday June 9, 2019. (Image credit: Dominican Republic Police)

“There’s no way,” added Robert Jackson from Cumberland, Rhode Island. “Everyone in the Dominican Republic knows who he is. There’s no way [the suspect] just thought he was shooting some random guy.”

McCann believes the truth will come out over the course of the investigation, but says he understands why the suspects may want to distance themselves from the shooting of Ortiz. “They know for their own safety it’s not good to be linked to a plot to kill a national hero,” he explained.

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Ortiz is in good condition, recovering at Mass General Hospital.

Kristina Rex