Officer injured, 2 others wounded in Tampa shooting spree

Author: The Associated Press
Published: Updated:
Antonio Cruz Ortiz (Credit: HCSO booking photo)

A Tampa man is in police custody after he went on a 40-minute shooting spree on a highway and city streets where he fired on at least 11 people, wounding two adults, and injuring a police officer when he shot into his squad vehicle.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, Tampa police officials said.

The Tampa Police Department started getting reports of someone shooting from a moving car on I-275 on Thursday evening. Tampa police said a family of four driving along West Sligh Avenue was among those fired upon. Two adults in the front seats were hit and two children the back, ages 4 and 2, were not struck by the bullets, police said.

A Tampa police officer responding to the shootings spotted the 31-year-old suspect’s car and attempted to pull him over, the Tampa Police Department said in a news release.

Antonio Cruz Ortiz got out of his car and fired on the officer’s squad car. The unnamed 24-year-old officer ducked as bullets shattered the back windshield and penetrated the front window, according to authorities.

Cruz Ortiz ran into a nearby apartment building where other officers tracked him down and arrested him, police said.

The officer had a non-life-threatening injury to his arm from the gunshots and shattered glass and was taken to a hospital. He had been working for the police department for 11 months and was in “good spirits,” Tampa police said.

Cruz Ortiz was being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bond Friday. Jail records show he is facing charges of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and shooting into a vehicle. Jail records showed no attorney listed for him.

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