Miami-Dade police chief shot himself after offering resignation, mayor says
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The director of the Miami-Dade Police Department offered to resign his position hours before shooting himself, the county’s mayor said Wednesday.
Details of the conversation were released as Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez was in a Tampa hospital, continuing to recover from the shooting. State officials are investigating events leading up to him shooting himself, including an argument with his wife at a Tampa hotel during a law enforcement conference, officials said.
Ramirez had called his boss, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, after leaving the hotel with his wife, Jody Ramirez.
“Freddy told me he had made a mistake, he was prepared to resign and I told him we would talk about it the next day,” the mayor recounted during a news conference on Wednesday morning. She said Ramirez was “very remorseful” during their conversation.
She said she told Ramirez to get home safely and they would discuss it the next day.
The shooting happened later Sunday night along Interstate 75 south of Tampa.
It was unclear whether Ramirez was inside or outside the vehicle when the shooting occurred. His wife was not injured, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Ramirez, 52, remained in stable condition on Wednesday after undergoing surgeries, the mayor said. One of his children is a sergeant with the Miami-Dade police force.
“He continues to receive outstanding medical care in Tampa, surrounded by his family, loved ones, and MDPD brothers and sisters,” Miami-Dade police said in a statement posted on social media late Tuesday.
Police officers were called to a downtown hotel after someone reported a man pointing a gun at himself during an argument with a woman, according to a Tampa Bay police report. Officers spoke with the couple. He denied pulling out a gun, and Jody Ramirez told officers she was not in fear of her safety, the police report said.
Ramirez is a 27-year Miami-Dade police veteran and was leading the largest law enforcement agency in the southeastern U.S. In May, he announced his intention to seek election for the newly-created role of sheriff in 2024, signaling his desire to remain the leading law enforcement official.
A link for contributions to his campaign was not working on Wednesday. The bio on his campaign website says that Ramirez joined the Miami-Dade police force in 1995 after marrying his high school sweetheart and graduating from the University of Miami.
The mayor said they are optimistic that Ramirez will continue to recover.
She has made two appointments to cover the positions in which Ramirez served.
Deputy Director Stephanie Daniels will serve as interim director of the agency.
The mayor appointed J.D. Patterson, the chief of corrections and forensics for the county, as the interim chief of the Miami-Dade Police Department. Patterson served in the same role from 2013 to 2016 and first began his service with the agency in 1983.
This story has been updated to correct that Cava is the Mami-Dade county mayor, not the city mayor.
Associated Press writer Curt Anderson contributed to this report from St. Petersburg, Fla.