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Suspect in Tampa Shooting Spree Appears Before Judge

TAMPA, Fla. — The man accused of injuring multiple people in Tampa Thursday, including a police officer, after firing random gunshots will remain in jail until at least Wednesday. 

What You Need To Know

Appearing before a judge via video on Saturday, Antonio Cruz Ortiz, 31, was ordered to be held until a bail hearing can be held, according to Spectrum Bay News 9’s partner newspaper the Tampa Bay Times. Attorneys are expected to argue during the hearing that Ortiz be held without bail.

Ortiz is facing charges of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm; four counts of attempted second degree murder; seven counts of aggravated assault with a firearm; and three counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle.

Additional charges may be filed. 

Antonio Cruz Ortiz, 31, went on a shooting spree in Tampa on July 30, 2020, injuring several people including a Tampa police officer, authorities said. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]

The Tampa Poilce Department said the gunfire started Thursday just before 7:30 p.m. when Ortiz was firing randomly from a moving car 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 said 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 said the suspect shot at five children at a park near that location. 

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