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Man with rifle fires shots on Palmetto Expressway

Horvin Ruiz faces multiple charges in connection with shooting

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A man was taken into custody Monday morning after he shot rounds at passing vehicles on the Palmetto Expressway near Northwest 74th Street, police said. 

Horvin Ruiz, 36, also fired rounds from a rifle at police, Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez said. 

"This might have been something random where he was just shooting at vehicles as he was traveling down the Palmetto," Miami-Dade police Detective Daniel Ferrin said. "But we don't know." 

Police did exchange gunfire with Ruiz, and neither police nor the suspect were injured. 

The incident, which police have called a "non-contact police shooting," took place at about 1:15 a.m.

Ruiz shot at two vehicles before he lost control of his red Toyota Corolla and crashed it into a concrete median, Ferrin said. His vehicle then spun around and he started driving northbound in the southbound lanes before he hit a barrier next to a shoulder. 

Police were able to apprehend Ruiz. 

"A tragedy was averted," Perez said in a tweet. 

Two vehicles were struck during the incident, and one of the victims, Enrique Jose Bendana, was taken from a gas station at 8695 NW 58 St. to Kendall Regional Medical Center with a minor head injury from the debris, police said.

He was treated and released.

Seven other people between the ages of 24 to 56 have come forward. 

One of the victims, a 32-year-old woman who asked to remain anonymous, said she and her husband were on their way home from Legoland with their children, ages 2, 4, and 6, when the shooting took place. 

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She said that Ruiz pulled in front of the family minivan, which forced her to slam on her brakes and crash into the back of the shooter's vehicle. 

After the crash, Ruiz began to shoot at the family, the victim said.

"I ask all the kids to bend over and then me and my husband make a very quick decision," the mother said. "We have to run."

Her children were not injured.

"I just feel like I have to protect my kids," she said. "I'm the captain of the whole ship and they are my crew."

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The Palmetto Expressway's southbound lanes were shut down near Northwest 58th Street as police investigated.

"As you can tell, it's a very extensive scene. Many shots were fired, possibly from the suspect and possibly from our officers since they did return fire," Ferrin said earlier.

Ruiz now faces several charges, including 16 counts of attempted first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, three counts of child abuse and eight counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder.

Police have asked anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.


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