In this undated image from a video ad, Freddy Ramirez announces his bid to be Miami-Dade's first elected sheriff in decades. A change to the state constitution required the partisan office to be re-instated, but the duties are still uncluear. Ramirez is running as a Democrat. (KBI via Ramirez campaign)
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Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez is in critical condition after shooting himself in the head near Tampa , according to police sources and news reports.

The Miami-Dade Police Department issued a statement in the early morning hours that said Ramirez, 52, was undergoing surgery after suffering a “critical injury”. The shooting was being investigated by the Highway Patrol and The Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she “traveled to Tampa to be with Director Ramirez and his family in the hospital.”

“Çhief Ramirez is hospitalized and in critical but stable condition,” the mayor said in a written statement. “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,” Levine Cava said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the director and his family during this difficult time,” said Key Biscayne Police Chief Frank Sousa.

The MDPD assistant director, Christopher Carothers, is serving as acting director, said Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman.

“Obviously, this has affected us dearly. It has been heartfelt — not only Miami-Dade Police Department but the entire Miami Dade County,” Zabaleta said. “The director was well-liked through the entire community. “

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“Everybody has been in a state of shock with what has occurred, but we do have a ranked structure and the command staff has already assumed control of the department and to ensure public safety, our response and service, is not interrupted. “

He said any details on what happened will come from FDLE and any details on Ramirez’s condition will come from the hospital in Tampa.

The Tampa Police Department said it hoped to have a statement by the end of business with wha

Steadman Stahl, president of South Florida Police Benevolent Association, said he is still hearing bits and pieces of what happened.

“We are asking that everybody please keep him in your prayers, his family in your prayers,” Stahl said. “Right now, we don’t have much to go on to what led up to this.”

Ramirez, who joined Miami-Dade Police in 1995, was named by Levine Cava to run the 4,100-member police force in 2020. The mayor last year also put him in charge of the fire department.

Voters decided to make the position an elected office and Ramirez – who was running as a Democrat – was seeking the position. He appeared on the Independent’s Anti-Social podcast in May.

A source told the Independent that Tampa police had engaged with Ramirez after an altercation but knew no details of the interaction. A call was placed to 911 that Ramirez was injured on Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County.

CBS News Miami reported that Ramirez shot himself in what appeared to be an attempted suicide but other news outlets said there has been no confirmation whether the shooting was self-inflicted or accidental.

This is a developing story.

John Pacenti

JOHN PACENTI is a correspondent of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

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JOHN PACENTI is a correspondent of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.