TAMPA, Fla. – The chief of the Miami-Dade County Police Department is awake and recovering in a Tampa hospital, two days after shooting himself after a domestic dispute at a west-central Florida hotel.
Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III, 52, injured himself on Interstate 75 in the Tampa suburb of Riverview on Sunday while attempting to take his own life after the dispute, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“He is awake and talking,” Stedman Stahl, president of the Police Benevolent Association, told WFOR-TV on Tuesday.
Stahl said he visited with the Ramirez family at the hospital Monday night, according to the Miami Herald. Ramirez has likely lost the use of his right eye but appears to have escaped brain damage. He is expected to recover, according to the newspaper.
“The family is devastated. But they’re close and they’re sticking together,” Stahl said.
Ramirez underwent a pair of surgeries on Monday and had another one scheduled for Tuesday, WPLG-TV reported.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Miami-Dade County Police Department said that 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,” the statement read. “Thank you to our community and law enforcement family for all your prayers, support, and strength.”
Ramirez held the titles of director and chief of public safety for the Miami-Dade Police Department, according to the Miami Herald.
According to the Tampa Police Department, Ramirez was attending the 2023 Florida Sheriff’s Association’s Summer Conference at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street hotel on Sunday, WFLA-TV reported.
At about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, police spoke with Ramirez, who said he was arguing with his wife of nearly three decades, Jody Ramirez, but never pointed a gun and was not going to hurt anybody, WFLA reported. Jody Ramirez also told police she was not concerned for her safety, according to the television station.
There was no evidence of a crime or immediate danger, so Ramirez was released at the scene, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The shooting, police said, came hours later as the couple drove south, according to the Herald.
Mark Glass, commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said that the couple left the hotel and Alfredo Ramirez suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound after pulling over on the southbound lane of I-75, according to the newspaper. Glass said that Ramirez suffered serious head injuries and was taken to a Tampa hospital, the Times reported.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister confirmed Ramirez injured himself on the interstate, WFLA reported.
Ramirez announced two months ago that he would run for sheriff next year as a Democrat, WFOR reported.
He was named police director in 2020 under former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, according to the television station.
Ramirez has been with the Miami-Dade County Police Department since 1995, the Herald reported.
Note: If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support via the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.