Police: Man fires AK-47 while driving on Miami's Palmetto Expressway

Posted at 8:01 AM, May 29, 2017

An overnight shooting that sent one person to the hospital had the Palmetto Expressway closed for nearly nine hours Monday for those traveling southbound.

Miami-Dade Police responded to the scene on the southbound side just before NW 74th Street. Horvin Ruiz, 36, lost control of his car and started going the wrong way before crashing again, according to officials.

Ruiz allegedly began opening fire at random cars, including a FHP trooper. A Miami-Dade police officer returned fire before Ruiz later got out of the car and continued shooting with an AK-47, police said. He eventually surrendered to officers. Miami-Dade Police, Doral Police and Florida Highway Patrol were involved in the incident.

Two different cars were struck by bullets. One driver, identified Enrique Jose Bendana, was hit and treated at a nearby gas station. He drove himself to Kendall Regional Medical Center.

WTVJ-TV reporter Erika Glover spoke to Bendana as he left the hospital Monday.

"The bullet went through the headrest of the passenger [side] and went through the windshield," Bendana recalled. "Inches from my head. I mean, I got hit right in my temple. I had blood coming out of my head and I freaked out in that moment."

A second driver who pulled up behind the accused shooter’s car also had her car struck by bullets. She was reportedly struck by shattered glass but did not need to be hospitalized.

The other victims were identified as 56-year-old Juan Carlos Castillo, 39-year-old Ray Alex Manresa, 29-year-old Michael Lekoetue, 26-year-old Simone Evans and 24-year-old Rob'Terria Byrd.

"This might have been something random where he was just shooting at vehicles as he was traveling down the Palmetto," said MDPD Det. Dan Ferrin. "But we don't know."

The expressway was closed in both directions for almost six hours before northbound lanes reopened just after 7:30 a.m. Officials opened the southbound lanes shortly after 10 a.m.

The officer who opened fire on Ruiz is a 24-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

WTVJ-TV got an up-close look at the gun allegedly used in the shooting. Ruiz has been in trouble with the law in the past.

In 2005, he was charged with cannabis possession and vehicle title fraud and in 1998, he was charged with criminal Mischief, according to court records.

Courtesy of our news partner at NBC Miami