HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A man is facing various charges, including four attempted murder charges in the second degree, after he is accused of shooting a 24-year-old Tampa police officer on Thursday evening, according to officials.
What You Need To Know
- One man is accused of going on a shooting spree across Tampa and Hillsborough County
- Two other people besides the officer were injured
- Officer is expected to make a full recovery
Antonio Cruz Ortiz is accused of multiple random shootings, with four of them taking place in Hillsborough County.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office stated that the 31-year-old Ortiz is facing various charges:
- 7 charges of aggravated assault with a firearm
- 4 charges of attempted second degree murder
- 3 charges of shooting at occupied vehicles
Antonio Cruz Ortiz, 31, is the suspect in multiple random shootings Thursday night, including 4 in Hillsborough County. #teamHCSO has charged him w/ Agg Assault w/ a Firearm (x7), Attempted 2nd Degree Murder (x4), and Shooting at an Occupied Vehicle (x3). #SheriffChadChronister pic.twitter.com/gVc7iNaiq3— HCSO #teamhcso (@HCSOSheriff) July 31, 2020
The Tampa Poilce Department stated it all started when Ortiz was firing randomly from a moving car just after 7:30 p.m. on Interstate 275. According to the department, the same man opened fire at six other locations throughout Tampa and Hillsborough County before an officer caught up to him.
The unnamed officer attempted a felony stop, but the suspect started shooting at his cruiser. Bullets shattered the windshield and back window, as the officer took cover behind the dashboard.
Police say the officer, who has been on the force for 11 months, was shot in the arm and hit with shards of glass. His injuries are said to be non-life threatening. He was taken to the hospital and was in good spirits when Chief Dugan visited him.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office, the other shooting scenes include the 6300 block of Tadpole lane in the Egypt Lake-Leto area. Deputies say the suspect shot at five children at a park at 7:28 p.m., but no one was hurt.
Minutes later, someone called 911 to report a shooting at the intersection of West Sligh Avenue and North Habana Avenue. According to investigators, four people were shot at by Ortiz while they were inside a car. Two adults were in the driver and front passenger seats and suffered non-life-threatening injuries from being shot. Two children, ages 2 and 4, were in the backseat and were not injured, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Then, at 7:35 pm, another car was shot, and the tires were flattened at North Dale Mabry Highway and Lambright Street. Deputies say the driver was not hurt and pulled into a CVS parking lot to call for help.
The Sheriff's Office revealed that an additional person was shot at along Lambright Street, west of Himes Avenue. The person was not hit, but the vehicle that he was in was shot.
Ortiz was taken into custody, and Hillsborough Avenue was closed in both directions between 40th and 43rd Streets so authorities could investigate.
“We are thankful that through coordinated efforts with the Tampa Police Department, we were able to locate this dangerous individual who put so many lives at risk by shooting at random,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “This is still a very active investigation, and we are working to determine why this person acted in such a violent manner. The pain he has caused his victims, including a Tampa Police Officer, and his reckless disregard for human life is unacceptable. He will be charged to the fullest extent of the law for his actions.”