Freddy Ramirez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, is currently resting in a Tampa hospital. “He is awake and talking,” said Stedman Stahl, president of the Police Benevolent Association, the largest police union. MDPD Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez’s condition was updated on Tuesday by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
“Director Ramirez continues to positively recover post-surgery. He continues to receive outstanding medical care in Tampa surrounded by his family, loved ones, and MDPD brothers and sisters. Thank you to our community and law enforcement family for all your prayers, support, and strength.”
The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) convened a press conference on Monday to update the public on Ramirez’s self-inflicted shooting. Mark Glass, the commissioner of Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement, has confirmed that Ramirez shot himself in the head. “No other victims were found in the shooting.”
FDLE and FHP are investigating an incident involving Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez last night on I-75 South of Tampa. FDLE Agents and Troopers were on scene and will continue conducting investigative interviews today. Director Ramirez is hospitalized. Updates to come pic.twitter.com/JKFTXag1Zx
— FDLE (@fdlepio) July 24, 2023
“He is in critical, but stable condition.” Authorities and sources said that Ramirez, 52, shot himself on Sunday during an apparent suicide attempt after flying to Tampa for a law enforcement conference. Two law enforcement officials have confirmed that Ramirez was in his car with his wife when he pulled over to the side of Interstate 75 and shot himself.
Following surgery at Tampa General Hospital, Miami-Dade police reported he was in critical but stable condition. A source with knowledge of the situation says he is expected to make a full recovery. The shooting is being looked into by the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
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Monday morning, the Miami-Dade Police Department released a brief statement indicating they had been notified by their counterparts in Tampa that Ramirez had sustained a “critical injury.” Miami-Dade police issued a statement asking for prayers for the man. A high-ranking law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told CBS News Miami what led up to the shooting.
Ramirez and his wife were in Tampa for the Florida Sheriffs Association’s summer meeting at the JW Marriot Hotel, which started on Sunday. After the conference’s welcoming event ended at 6:30 p.m., the couple reportedly went outside to have an altercation. A witness allegedly saw Ramirez making suicidal threats, according to the law enforcement official.
“A citizen saw him take out his gun and put it in his mouth,” the source said, according to CBS Miami. A bystander in Tampa called the cops, who interrogated Ramirez and his wife. Both disputed that Ramirez had made a suicide threat, and since the call had been made anonymously, no witnesses came forward to tell police.
Despite having probable cause to believe Ramirez was a danger to himself or others, police in Tampa opted not to make an arrest or invoke the state’s Baker Act to involuntarily commit Ramirez to a mental health hospital for 72 hours. The insider claimed that “there wasn’t enough evidence to do anything.”
When Ramirez and his wife got back to their room, they were told they couldn’t remain at the Marriot anymore. They left the hotel around 9 p.m. on Sunday and were driving back to Miami along I-75 in the Riverview neighborhood of Tampa when Ramirez pulled over and shot himself in the head.
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Ramirez may lose vision in one eye, according to the source, however the full extent of his injury is unknown at this time. The reasons behind his suspected suicide attempt are unclear. Almost two months ago, Ramirez declared his intention to run for sheriff in 2019 as a Democrat, alongside the incumbent, Mayor of Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava.
In 2020, he became Miami-Dade County’s director of police under then-mayor Carlos Gimenez. Two years later, Levine Cava promoted Ramirez to acting chief of public safety, giving him oversight of both the Miami Police Department and the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. After some time, he was made permanent in the role.
The mayor’s office claimed in a statement posted on Monday that she had gone to Tampa to visit Director Ramirez and his family while they were hospitalized. “Following a critical injury in Tampa yesterday, Chief Ramirez is hospitalized and in critical but stable condition,” she said.
“All that matters right now is Chief Ramirez’s wellbeing, and I join his family, his loved ones, and all his Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade County family in praying for his swift recovery.” In addition, the Miramar Police Department published a statement in Ramirez’s favor.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava: “All that matters right now is Chief Ramirez’s wellbeing, and I join his family, his loved ones, and all his Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade County family in praying for his swift recovery” @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/xsj6QmQokj
— Julia Bagg (@JuliaNBC6) July 24, 2023
“We come together sending positive energy and strength his way,” the agency said in a social media post. “May Director Ramirez find the courage and resilience to overcome this obstacle and may his recovery be swift and complete.” Interim Police Chief Stephanie Daniels was previously the MDPD’s Deputy Chief.
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