FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — (TodayNews) — A Miami-Dade Police Department chief is in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery at a Tampa County hospital a day after he shot himself, state law enforcement officials said Monday.
Alfredo “Freddie” Ramirez, 52, was in Tampa for a law enforcement conference, officials said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or FDLE, is working with the Florida Highway Patrol to investigate the shooting.
FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said during a press conference Monday afternoon that Tampa police had responded to a domestic dispute between Ramirez and his wife earlier Sunday at the hotel where the conference was being held. According to Glass, Ramirez left the hotel and was shot and injured after he pulled over on Interstate 75 south of Tampa.
“Law enforcement is a difficult and stressful career and occupation,” Glass said. “And Director Ramirez has devoted almost 30 years of his life to public service and to keeping the citizens of Miami-Dade safe. Today is a tragic day in Florida.”
Ramirez is a 27-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department and has headed the largest law enforcement agency in the southeastern United States. In May, he announced his intention to seek election to the newly created office of sheriff in 2024, signaling his desire to remain a leading law enforcement officer.
Miami-Dade County Mayor spokeswoman Daniella Levine Kawa told The Associated Press that the mayor traveled to Tampa after the shooting to “support Director Ramirez and his family.” Later Monday, she said in a memo to county commissions that Deputy Director Stephanie Daniels would be acting director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
A Tampa police report said officers were called to the Marriott Waterside Center in response to reports of a man pointing a gun at himself outside a hotel during an argument with a woman. There was no evidence of a crime or immediate danger, Tampa police said in a report. Ramirez was told that he could leave.
“Our hearts go out to Director Ramirez and his family,” Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercow said in a statement urging police officers who are struggling to reach out for help.
Help for first responders and others includes the Tampa Bay Crisis Center and the American Suicide and Crisis Helpline, which receives calls and texts on 988.
This story has been updated to correct in the headline that this is the Mami-Dade Police Chief and not the Miami Police Chief.
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