TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez suffered a “critical” injury in Tampa.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the incident involving Ramirez happened Sunday night on Interstate 75 south of Tampa. He suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister confirmed Ramirez injured himself while trying to take his own life in Riverview after a domestic dispute at a Tampa hotel.
“The Sheriff’s Office stands united with a profound sense of compassion and concern for our colleague who has experienced such a traumatic event,” Chronister said. “Mental health knows no boundaries and I hope that Director Ramirez and anyone in crisis receives the help they deserve.”
According to Tampa police, Ramirez was in town for the 2023 Florida Sheriff’s Association’s Summer Conference.
Tampa police said officers responded to the Marriott Waterside Hotel for a report of a man pointing a gun at himself. Police spoke to Ramirez, who said he and a woman were arguing, but that he never pointed a gun and wasn’t going to hurt anybody.
The woman also told police she did not feel worried for her safety, police said.
The Miami-Dade Police Department said Ramirez was undergoing surgery early Monday morning.
“We ask you to please keep him in your prayers,” the police department said.
“All that matters right now is Chief Ramirez’s wellbeing, and I join his family, his loved ones and his Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade County family in praying for his swift recovery,” Mayor Daniella Levina Cava said in a statement.
No one else was injured in the incident.
Stephanie V. Daniels has been named the interim director until further notice, according to WPLG.
Ramirez joined the police department in 1995.
Ramirez is a 27-year Miami-Dade police veteran and was leading the largest law enforcement agency in the southeastern U.S. In May, he announced his intention to seek election for the newly-created role of sheriff in 2024, signaling his desire to remain the leading law enforcement official.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.