NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police took a man into custody, after they said, he randomly opened fire on drivers and law enforcement officers along the Palmetto Expressway, early Monday morning.
Miami-Dade Police identified the shooter as 36-year-old Horvin Ruiz. Detectives said he was shooting at passing motorists with an AK-47 along the southbound lanes of SR 826, just south of Northwest 74th Street.
It all happened in Northwest Miami-Dade, at around 1 a.m., causing motorists to go into a state of panic.
Enrique Bendana, who was grazed by one of the bullets, said he is lucky to be telling his story. “When I hear gunshots, I try to floor my car, and the next thing I know, I get hit from the back,” he said. “I went back in my car and the bullet passed inches from my head, right into the front of the dashboard of my car.”
A bullet shattered the side window of his vehicle, as well as the passenger seat and the dashboard that was right in front of him. “I had blood coming from the side of my head,” Bendana said.
The Palmetto was shut down in both directions as a result, between Northwest 74th and Northwest 58th Street. The roadway was reopened nearly nine hours later.
According to officials, Ruiz came to a crashing stop after attempting to go northbound along the southbound lanes of traffic.
Officials said Ruiz began firing at authorities, but quickly gave up when officers from three agencies were able to return fire. Officers did not hit the suspect.
“They were able to control the scene once they found the suspect, who happened to be inside a Toyota Corolla, burgundy in color, still firing at them as they were arriving,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Dan Ferrin. “The suspect did give up. At that point, officers were able to apprehend him and take him into custody.”
Yellow evidence markers littered the road where the Toyota was stopped on the highway. It was unclear how many of the markers show bullets fired by Ruiz and those fired by police.
7News spoke with a man named Charles, who said he was driving home from a party when he saw someone open fire on the side of the road. “We were heading home and this guy came up to a car that looked like he was crashed on the side of the road,” he said. “We didn’t think much of it, and by the time we tried to, you know, start to approach him or whatever, we started hearing the gunshots. I mean, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. This guy was battling with somebody else over some gunshots.”
In a video posted to social media, a woman said she and others actually turned around and fled in the opposite direction after seeing Ruiz shooting at several vehicles.
A total of five vehicles were struck by bullets, according to FHP.
“He lost control, struck the median barrier, turned his vehicle around and started going around and started going onto oncoming traffic, where he lost control once again and struck another barrier,” Ferrin said.
Ray Fraga told 7News neither he nor his passenger were injured, but they felt the bullets pierce his van. “I’m very nervous,” he said.
Charles said he and his car also escaped unharmed, but he stopped to help a woman whose car was hit by bullets. “Three bullets went through her car, and one actually almost went right behind her head,” he said. “I mean, it was like inches away.”
7News cameras captured Ruiz as he was searched by police, handcuffed and put into the back of a patrol car.
Ruiz is facing 16 counts of attempted first degree murder and eight counts of attempted premeditated murder of a law enforcement officer. He is expected to appear before a judge, Tuesday afternoon.
It is unknown what led to the shootout. The investigation is ongoing.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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