Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levin-Cava spoke with Police Director Alfredo “Freddie” Ramirez before he shot himself in an apparent suicide attempt, a spokesman for the mayor said Tuesday.
Ramirez was attending the Florida Sheriffs Association’s annual summer conference in Tampa on Sunday when he was involved in some sort of domestic dispute with his wife at a hotel, authorities said.
Ramirez left the hotel and was driving somewhere along I-75 in Riverview, towards the southern tip of Hillsborough County, when he stopped and shot himself, officials said.
A spokesman for Levin Kava confirmed that the mayor spoke to Ramirez before the shooting, but did not provide any other information about the conversation.
On Monday, Levin Kava issued a statement wishing the director of the MDPD all the best.
“Following a critical injury sustained in Tampa yesterday, Chief Ramirez has been hospitalized and is in a critical but stable condition,” the statement said. “All that matters now is the well-being of Chief Ramirez, and I join his family, his loved ones, and his entire family from the Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade County in praying for his speedy recovery.”
Our hearts go out to Chief of Public Safety Freddy Ramirez and his family at this difficult time. All that matters now is his well-being and we continue to pray for his speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/KwL5L4AZhJ
— Daniella Levin Kava (@MayorDaniella) July 24, 2023
Ramirez, 52, was taken to a hospital in the Tampa area and underwent surgery on Monday.
“Operation completed and Director Ramirez is in a stable condition,” Miami-Dade Police said in a statement Monday night. “We thank the MDPD community and extended family for their prayers and support. Principal Ramirez will begin his recovery journey surrounded by his family.”
Sources told NBC6 that Ramirez’s wife was with him at the time of the incident. No one else was injured as a result of the incident.
According to Tampa police, officers responded to a report of a man with a gun outside the Marriott Waterside hotel where the conference was being held.
Arriving officers received third-hand information that the man had pointed a gun at himself, but police said there were no first-hand witnesses or CCTV footage of the alleged incident.
Following the news that a top Miami-Dade police officer had shot himself in an apparent suicide attempt, there was shock and an outpouring of support from law enforcement in South Florida and the rest of the state. Laura Rodriguez of NBC6 reports this.
Police said officers found Ramirez in a room on the 12th floor with a woman whom Ramirez said he was involved in an argument with.
Police said Ramirez did not display a firearm and did not intend to harm himself or others. The woman confirmed that they had an argument and that she did not have any concerns that her safety was in danger, police said.
Police said that since there was no evidence of a crime or imminent danger, Ramirez was released at the scene.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Highway Patrol launched a joint investigation into the incident.
Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez was hospitalized and underwent surgery after he shot himself in the head. Reported by Steve Litz of NBC6.
Ramirez announced earlier this year that he would run for sheriff in 2024 to try to keep his position as head of the police department.
He first joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1995 and rose through the ranks. He became director of police in 2020 and later was promoted to Chief of Public Safety for Miami-Dade County.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is the largest in the Southeastern United States and the 8th largest in the nation, with over 3,000 sworn officers and over 1,000 civilian employees.
Levin Kava has appointed Associate Director Stephanie Daniels as Interim Director of the MDPD until further notice. According to her LinkedIn profile, Daniels has worked her way through the MDPD over the past 31 years, starting as an officer in 1992.