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Mayor Says Miami Police Director Tried To Resign Shortly Before He Shot Himself In The Head

Miami, FL – Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez called the city’s mayor and attempted to resign shortly before he shot himself on an interstate south of Tampa on Sunday night.

Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a press conference on Wednesday that she briefly spoke with Director Ramirez on the phone shortly before his apparent suicide attempt on July 23, WTVJ reported.

He placed the call to her at about 8:30 p.m., according to USA Today.

Levine Cava said the 52-year-old director told her he and his wife were involved in an incident at a hotel in Tampa.

“Freddy told me he had made a mistake, that he was prepared to resign,” the mayor confirmed, according to WTVJ.

“He was very remorseful and I reassured him we would talk the following morning,” Levine Cava added. “He told me he was driving back to Miami at that time and I told him we would talk the next day.”

A source said Levine Cava refused to accept his resignation, the Miami Herald reported.

“I reassured him we would talk, that I would call him in the morning,” the mayor confirmed.

A source said Levine Cava placed calls to Director Ramirez and sent him a text message after he called her, but her attempts to reach him went unanswered, the Miami Herald reported.

Director Ramirez, who recently announced his intention to run for Miami-Dade County sheriff next year, also placed a call to his campaign manager, Christian Ulvert, according to the Miami Herald.

Ulvert said he and the director spoke three times between the time of the incident at the hotel and the moment of the shooting on the interstate.

Director Ramirez told him he had a nonviolent confrontation with his wife but that he thought the matter could still potentially cause problems for his campaign, Ulvert said.

“He said he got into a fight with his wife. He said it was non-physical,” Ulvert said. “He was very embarrassed. He said: ‘This is not like me.’”

They did not discuss further details.

“I told him let’s meet Monday morning to discuss what happened and build a plan from there,” Ulvert told the Miami Herald. “He agreed we’d meet Monday morning.”

Director Ramirez was in town for the four-day Sheriff’s Summer Conference, which was being held in downtown Tampa at the JW Marriot, according to WPLG.

He and his wife of 28 years, Jody, stepped outside the hotel at around 6:30 p.m. on July 23 and got into an argument, sources told the news outlet.

A witness called 911 after allegedly seeing the director placing a gun into his mouth during the verbal altercation, WPLG reported.

Tampa police said they responded to the scene and spoke with the couple on the 12th floor of the hotel about 20 minutes later.

They acknowledged they had gotten into an argument outside, but both denied the allegations Director Ramirez had displayed a gun or pointed it at himself, according to investigators.

The incident was not captured by the hotel’s security cameras and the anonymous witness left the area prior to officers’ arrival, WPLG reported.

“After additional questioning, Ramirez stated he had no intention to harm himself or others,” the Tampa Police Department (TPD) said, according to WPLG. “The known female corroborated that they had an argument and that she did not have any concerns about her safety being in danger.”

Sources said Director Ramirez and his wife were ultimately asked to leave the property, at which point they drove away together and headed down Interstate 75 back to Miami, CBS News reported.

When they reached the Riverview area, Director Ramirez allegedly pulled off of the interstate and shot himself in the head, according to investigators.

His wife then called 911, WPLG reported.

Sources said the bullet traveled through Director Ramirez’s right temple and exited his right eye.

He was immediately rushed to Tampa General Hospital, WPLG reported.

Director Ramirez was listed in “critical but stable condition” on Monday morning, WPLG reported.

He underwent two surgeries on Monday, but doctors do not believe he suffered any brain damage, according to USA Today.

He was also alert and talking, according to his family.

Levine Cava traveled to Tampa to be with Director Ramirez and his family at the hospital in the wake of the incident, CBS News reported.

“I’m glad that we were able to be by his side in this time of darkness as together we hope to see some light,” the mayor said, according to WTVJ. “I love Freddy. He is an amazing human being. He is the best, the best of law enforcement, what law enforcement means. I have total trust in his leadership.”

“Freddy is the type of leader, the type of man, who bears the burdens of those around him, he carries the weight of his department and he’s always willing to take on more,” Levine Cava added. “This incident is also a tragic reminder of the critical role that mental health plays in our law enforcement officers’ well-being. The reality is that these jobs are very demanding, they’re stressful and they’re emotionally taxing.”

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) are handling the ongoing investigation into the incident

Director Ramirez joined the MDPD in 1995 and was named police director in 2020, CBS News reported.

He recently announced his intention to run for Miami-Dade County sheriff next year, according to NBC News.

“An incident such as this is so deeply saddening, and I am praying and hoping for Chief Freddy Ramirez’ full recovery,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told the news outlet. “We all know that we need many, many more individuals with the strength, courage and commitment he has exemplified throughout his career.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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