Miami-Dade Police Director Recovering After Attempted Suicide Following Argument With Spouse

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
August 7, 2023US News
Miami-Dade Police Director Recovering After Attempted Suicide Following Argument With Spouse
Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez speaks at the scene of a shooting outside a banquet hall near Hialeah, Fla., on May 30, 2021. (Devoun Cetourte/Miami Herald via AP)

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo ‘Freddy’ Ramirez was put in handcuffs just hours before he shot himself in the head in an attempted suicide, local authorities confirmed.

Mr. Ramirez was confronted by police officers at his hotel room in Tampa, Florida, after reports of him having an altercation with his wife in the hotel.

The couple released a joint statement on Aug. 7 explaining what happened that evening.

Footage released by Tampa Police Department on Aug. 2 captured the incident at the JW Marriott hotel. Mr. Ramirez and his wife, Jody, stayed at the luxury venue for the annual sheriff’s conference on the day of the incident on July 23.

According to the press release by the couple, no physical aggression was displayed at the incident.

“Jody strongly wishes to emphasize that at no time was there even a hint of physical aggression between her and Freddy. Nor is there the slightest evidence of such contact – not from Jody, not from a witness and not from any of the various security cameras operating throughout the hotel,” the statement reads.

The police director reportedly shot himself in the head just hours after the dispute on Interstate 75. His wife later confirmed that she grabbed her husband’s hand as he was pointing the gun to his head, saving his life, according to the release.

According to witness reports, the couple was seen arguing earlier in the hotel. A witness called 911 after the man, who was identified as Mr. Ramirez, reportedly pointed a gun to his own head. The officers arrived at around 6:30 p.m., by which time the witness had already departed, Fox News reported.

The couple denied that an altercation involving a gun took place, saying it was not supported by evidence, the press release states.

“The reckless allegation that he took out his gun prior to checking out from the hotel that evening is false and unsupported by either witnesses or camera footage. It is hoped that the media will be cautious about reporting on this subject, not only out of respect for their family, but because the public deserves to know the truth rather than sensational and unsubstantiated falsities,” the statement continues.

Both Mr. Ramirez and his wife had returned to their hotel room by the time officers approached the door of their suite on the 12th floor, the footage shows. The officer can then be heard shouting, “Tampa Police! Tampa Police! Come out with your hands up. Hands up!”

Officers proceeded to handcuff Mr. Ramirez after he and his wife exited the room. The police director was reportedly prompted several times to show his hands, the incident report states.

“What are you doing?” Mr. Ramirez asks. “You know I’m the director of the Miami-Dade Police Department? I didn’t do anything. I don’t understand.”

During questioning by Police officers at the scene, Mr. Ramirez denied pulling a gun. He also asserted that he posed no danger to himself or others. His wife, who was questioned separately, confirmed that the couple had gotten into a heated debate and that alcohol was involved in the incident.

“I know every button to push, and I’m pushing them today because I normally don’t drink. He got me an old-fashioned. It’s his fault,” she told the officers.

After assuring officers that her husband of 30 years posed no danger despite carrying a gun at all times, she added that his job brings “plenty of demons” along with it.

“He has plenty of demons from the job, as you guys all are probably aware of,” she said.

The couple later said they were shocked at the sudden arrival of police officers outside their hotel room door, and even more so at Mr. Ramirez being handcuffed, calling it a “profoundly disturbing” experience.

“It was especially so for such a distinguished leader of law-enforcement, with an unblemished record of more than 28 years of exemplary service in protecting the public,” the statement goes on to say.

Mr. Ramirez was released after questioning. He reportedly called his boss, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, at approximately 8:30 p.m. the same evening.

The police director told her that he wished to tender his resignation following the incident, to which Ms. Cava responded by telling him to get home safely, before arranging to discuss the matter further the following day, Ms. Cava said during a press conference.

However, the drama escalated after the call, when Mr. Ramirez and his wife were travelling on the freeway, south of Tampa shortly after 9 p.m. Mr. Ramirez reportedly pulled over, pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger.

A distraught Jody Ramirez can be heard begging for help in a 6 ½-minute 911 call.

Ramirez survived the attempted suicide and was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. He was reportedly alert, awake, and responsive, according to Ms. Cava, as reported by USA Today on July 26.

Mr. Ramirez will likely lose his right eye as a result of the gunshot wound and undergo several surgeries, but he is reportedly in stable condition.

His police career, spanning nearly three decades, led him to head the largest law enforcement agency in the southeastern United States after his appointment by the mayor. He recently announced he’d be running as a Democrat in the primary for the newly created role of Miami-Dade Sheriff, according to Fox News.

Whether Ramirez will remain in the race is currently unconfirmed. The mayor has since appointed an interim police director to fill his role.

A joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Highway Patrol is currently underway.