HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Witnesses, victims and their families say the moments after Thursday night’s shooting spree across parts of Hillsborough County were chaotic.
But they all have a shared gratitude that they and their loved ones are alive.
“Miguel covered his sons and his mom the best he could and he took the bullets for them,” said Daniel Lozano, whose brother-in-law Miguel Ferrer was shot Thursday.
Ferrer’s love for his family left him with a bullet lodged in his hip, his family told 8 On Your Side.
“They both work really hard,” said family member Jessie Ramirez, of Ferrer and his partner. “They’re just moving forward and taking care of their kids. This is obviously going to be a big hurdle.”
His family says Ferrer, his mother and his two young sons were driving on Sligh Avenue in Tampa Thursday night when they saw a man.
“Whoever the suspect was just honked the horn or signaled him to roll his window down and he just began shooting,” said Lozano.
Law enforcement officials from Tampa Police and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office have identified the suspect as Antonio Cruz Ortiz, 31.
Both Ferrer and his mother were shot, Ferrer’s family said.
“It’s just all been really hard. This was all unnecessary,” said Lozano.
Ferrer’s mother was treated and released from the hospital.
As of Friday evening, Ferrer was still receiving care at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
His little boys, aged 2 and 4, miss their dad.
“They saw everything. They saw their dad getting shot. It’s going to be a little bit for them to be fully ok with it, especially not knowing where their dad is right now,” said Ramirez.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ferrer’s family.
Witnesses didn’t have to be shot to be traumatized by what happened.
Miguel Perez told 8 On Your Side the suspect shot at his truck, hitting one of his tires.
“This is terrible,” he said. “You never know what really happens when some people shoot at you.”
Patricia Graham was face-to-face with the suspect.
She said she saw anger in his eyes.
“I feel the only reason I’m here, God’s grace,” she said. “God’s grace he wasn’t ready for me.”
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