David Ortiz was shot in the back by a gunman last week who mistook him for the real target, according to Dominican Republic officials.

The attempted murder was ordered from the United States by Victor Hugo Gomez, an associate of Mexico's Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.

The cousin, Sixto David Fernandez, was seated with the former baseball star on the night of June 9 when a gunman approached and fired a single shot at Ortiz, according to the Dominican Republic's attorney general and the national police director.

Ortiz remains hospitalized in Boston, where doctors have upgraded his condition from guarded to good.