TAMPA, FLA. (WSVN) – In a 911 call, an employee at the Tampa hotel where Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez was attending a conference alerted police about the domestic incident that took place before, police said, the law enforcement veteran shot himself and was rushed to the hospital.
Audio from Sunday night’s call captured a concerned employee at the JW Marriott in Tampa speaking to the dispatcher about a man outside the hotel.
“At the front desk, they’re telling me that there’s a guy with a gun in our front drive,” said the caller
That man was Ramirez, the head of Florida’s biggest police agency.
“I’ve got somebody who is supposedly in the front drive with a gun,” the caller reiterated.
“OK, I’ve got officers en route, priority,” said the dispatcher. “Do we have any description or anything?”
“I do not,” said the caller.
The call for help, obtained from Tampa Police, centered around an armed Ramirez who, investigators said, was having a domestic dispute with his wife
“It came from a guest inside the hotel?” the dispatcher said.
“Yes, that were walking from the outside into the hotel, said that there was a man in the drive with a gun,” said the caller.
Tampa Police units eventually responded to the Marriott, and Ramirez, who was there for a sheriff’s conference, got to leave with his wife and his gun.
A troubled Ramirez then made a phone call to Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
The mayor provided further details during a news conference held Wednesday.
“He said there was an incident at a hotel, and that there had been police involvement, and that he was offering his resignation,” said Levine Cava.
Not long after that call, Ramirez shot himself in the face while his wife was in the car.
His wife called for help, and Ramirez, 52, was rushed to Tampa General Hospital, where he remains in stable condition after undergoing surgeries.
Earlier this week, Steadman Stahl with the South Florida Police Benevolent Association provided an update about Ramirez’s life-changing injury.
“He doesn’t have brain damage,” said Stahl. “He lost his eye.”
Levine Cava said Ramirez is improving and doing much better.
“I am glad that we were able to be by his side in this time of darkness, as together we hope to see some light,” she said.
Wednesday’s press conference marked the first time Levine Cava has addressed the matter publicly. She has appointed interim replacements for the ailing Ramirez, who remains hospitalized and at the center of a state investigation.
“This incident is also a tragic reminder of the critical role that mental health plays in our law enforcement officers’ well-being, all of our public safety officers,” said Levine Cava. “The reality is that these jobs are very demanding, they’re stressful, and they’re emotionally taxing. They often require our officers to put their lives on the line.”
If you, or someone you know is struggling, help is available on the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. You can also contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness at NAMI.org.
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