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Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez remains hospitalized after self-inflicted gunshot wound

MDPD Director Freddy Ramirez remains hospitalized
MDPD Director Freddy Ramirez remains hospitalized 03:13

TAMPA -- Miami Dade Police Director, Freddy Ramirez is recovering at a Tampa Hospital. "He is awake and talking," according to Stedman Stahl, president of the largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association. 

On Tuesday the Miami-Dade Police Department provided an update on the condition of MDPD Director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez.  

"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." 

On Monday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) held a press conference provide an update on the self-inflicted shooting of Ramirez.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass confirmed Ramirez suffered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. "No one else was injured in the shooting."

Authorities provide update on self-inflicted shooting of MDPD Director Alfredo "Freddy" Rami 05:02

"I ask for your patience as we work to investigate this incident."

"He is in critical, but stable condition."

Ramirez, 52, was critically injured after he shot himself Sunday during an apparent suicide attempt after traveling to Tampa for a law enforcement conference, authorities and sources said.

Ramirez was in his car with his wife when he pulled over by the side of the road along Interstate 75 and shot himself, according to two law enforcement sources. 

He was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he underwent surgery and was in critical but stable condition, Miami-Dade police said in a statement. He is expected to survive, according to a source familiar with the incident.

The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the shooting.

The Miami-Dade Police Department issued a brief statement early Monday saying they had been informed by police in Tampa that Ramirez had suffered a "critical injury."

"We ask you to please keep him in your prayers," Miami-Dade police said in a written statement.

A senior law enforcement source familiar with the investigation, described for CBS News Miami the events leading up to the shooting:

Ramirez and his wife were in Tampa for the summer meeting of the Florida's Sheriff Association, which began on Sunday at the JW Marriot Hotel. The couple left the welcome reception for the conference at around 6:30 p.m. and went outside the hotel where an argument allegedly ensued.

According to the law enforcement source, a passerby claimed to have seen Ramirez threatening to kill himself.

"A citizen saw him take out his gun and put it in his mouth," the source told CBS Miami.

The passerby called Tampa police who questioned Ramirez and his wife.

Both denied that Ramirez had threatened to kill himself and since the call was made anonymously, there were no eyewitnesses willing to speak to police. 

Jim DeFede speaks about Freddy Ramirez suicide attempt 04:09
Outpouring of support for MDPD Director Freddy Ramirez 02:12

As a result, Tampa police decided not to arrest Ramirez or to use the state's Baker Act to involuntarily commit Ramirez to a mental health facility for 72 hours, which would be common practice if police had evidence a person was a risk to themselves or others.

"There wasn't enough evidence to do anything," the source said.

Ramirez and his wife returned to their room, but hotel officials told them they were no longer welcome to stay at the Marriot and asked them to leave.

They left the hotel around 9 p.m. Sunday and were driving back to Miami when Ramirez pulled off to the side of the road along I-75 in the Riverview section of Tampa and shot himself in the head. The extent of his injuries is not publicly known, but the source said Ramirez may lose vision in one eye.

It is not clear the motive for his apparent suicide attempt.

Ramirez announced two months ago that he would run for sheriff next year as a Democrat alongside Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

He was named police director in 2020 under former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Levine Cava elevated Ramirez two years later so he could oversee the police department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue as interim chief of public safety. He was later given the position permanently.

In a written statement released Monday, the mayor's office said she had traveled to Tampa to be with Director Ramirez and his family in the hospital.

"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."

The Miramar Police Department also issued a statement in support of Ramirez.

"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."  

MDPD Deputy Director Stephanie Daniels has been named interim police director. 

CBS News Miami reporter Jim DeFede contributed to this report.

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