The director of the Miami-Dade Police Department was hospitalized on Sunday after shooting himself on the side of a highway.
Director Alfredo Ramirez, the chief of the largest police force in the southeastern United States, was ‘severely injured’ from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials confirmed on Monday.
On Monday morning, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Ramirez was in ‘critical but stable condition’ from a ‘critical injury in Tampa’ on Sunday night.
‘All that matters right now is Chief Ramirez’s well-being,’ the mayor said.
Ramirez was in Tampa attending the Sheriff’s Summer Conference, an annual event held by the Florida Sheriff’s Association.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which serves the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, confirmed that Ramirez shot himself during a ‘domestic dispute.’
The incident occurred on Interstate-75, a highway connecting Tampa to Miami.
Local 10 News reported that Ramirez’s wife, Jody, was in the car with him.
The local station also reported that witnesses saw Ramirez arguing with his wife outside the JW Marriott Hotel in Tampa on Sunday night. The witnesses reportedly called 911 after watching the police chief put a gun in his mouth.
The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the shooting.
On Monday afternoon, Miami-Dade Police confirmed that Ramirez went into surgery.
‘We have confirmed that our Director Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Ramirez is currently undergoing surgery for his injuries,’ the the police department said in a news release on Monday.
‘The entire Miami-Dade Police Department stands together behind Freddy and asks that our community continue to keep him in their prayers. Out of respect for his close family and friends, we ask for privacy at this difficult time.’
Ramirez joined the force in 1996. He was appointed chief of the department, which employs3,000 police officers and 1,000 other staffers, in 2020.
Earlier this year, he announced he would be running for Miami-Dade County Sheriff in 2024.
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