Miami-Dade County’s police director, Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez, is recovering from surgery at a hospital after he suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Miami Herald reports. Ramirez shot himself not long after he was involved in what was described as a heated argument with his wife Jody at a Tampa hotel and was asked to leave by hotel staff. According to a statement from Tampa Police, officers responded to a call of a person brandishing a gun in front of a hotel near the Sheriff's Association of Florida conference. At least three attendees said they were told Ramirez had his wife against a wall and his hands around his wife’s throat before the couple went outside. Police did not verify that and Ramirez’s wife could not be reached for comment. Police said that when officers arrived, the couple had returned to their room on the 12th floor and Ramirez denied having displayed a gun or intending to harm anyone. “There were no first-hand witnesses or security camera footage capturing the alleged incident,” Tampa police said in a statement. And Jody Ramirez, they said, told them she had no concerns about her safety.
Just hours after Ramirez and his wife left the Marriott, and headed back to Miami, Ramirez stopped the car and shot himself with a gun he had in his possession, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released Monday morning. It wasn’t clear if Ramirez had shot himself in or out of the vehicle. The incident was a turn of events that shocked people who knew and worked with a highly regarded commander who rose through the ranks during a three-decade career and is a Democratic candidate for sheriff in the 2024 election. “We’re completely shocked. I’ve been in law enforcement 39 years and I’ve never heard of anything like this remotely occurring,” said Michael Lewis, the sheriff of Maryland's Wicomico County, who attended the conference. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he spoke with Ramirez and his wife on Sunday night and everything seemed fine. “It’s a tragic situation,” the sheriff said.