Man who fired at motorists along SR 826 appears in court

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man who opened fire along the Palmetto Expressway appeared before a judge, Tuesday, for the first time.

Thirty-six-year-old Horvin Ruiz appeared before a Miami-Dade County judge after, detectives said, he fired 108 rounds at passing motorists with an AK-47 on Monday.

His neighbors did not want to talk on camera, but said that they’ve seen Ruiz walking around armed.

Miami-Dade Police searched Ruiz’s house at 395 NW 177th St., Apt. 110, in Northwest Miami-Dade, Tuesday. Police found at least 11 guns of all sizes, boxes of ammo and brass knuckles inside his Miami Gardens apartment.

Ruiz is accused of shooting at seven vehicles and eight police officers, early Monday, striking five cars and injuring one person.

“You were arrested for 16 counts of attempted first-degree murder,” said Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy S. Glazer.

Ruiz was also charged with eight counts of attempted murder of law enforcement officers, along with other charges. He was charged with a total of 57 counts.

“He took a gun, an AK-47, which is a pretty big gun, and he shot at people in cars,” said Glazer.

Ruiz was driving along the southbound lanes of SR 826, just south of Northwest 74th Street, as he opened fire. According to officials, Ruiz came to a crashing stop after attempting to go northbound along the southbound lanes of traffic.

Police received a call about an active shooter at around 1 a.m., Monday.

“Active shooter on the expressway,” said an operator, “multiple vehicles trying to flee away from the shooter.”

Police said Ruiz wrecked his car but still kept shooting even until they arrived on the scene. The officers fired back, but no one was hit.

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. “I had blood coming from the side of my head,” Bendana said.

Ruiz will remain in jail with no bond. He said in court that he wants a private lawyer. “Good luck to you, Sir,” said Glazer. “You’re gonna need it.”

A second court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, where responding officers will be in attendance as his charges are read.

Police have since locked up Ruiz’s stash of weaponry. They have not said anything about a possible motive in this case.

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