Miami’s top cop cuffed during spat with wife, shoots self in head hours later

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Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez was briefly handcuffed after allegedly threatening to “end it all” during a spat with his wife and hours before he shot himself in the head on a freeway, authorities said.

The Tampa Police Department released body camera footage and a police report Wednesday documenting the disturbing July 23 call to the JW Marriott hotel, where Ramirez and his wife were staying for a sheriff’s conference.

Hours later, Ramirez, 52, allegedly shot himself in the head on Interstate 75 in an attempted suicide.

The footage sheds light on the police response to the initial dispute with his wife, Jody Ramirez, at the luxury hotel on the Tampa waterfront. 

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Jody and Alfredo Ramirez smiling at an event next to a still from bodycam footage of him with his hands up.

Miami-Dade County’s top cop, Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez, and his wife, Jody, got into a heated argument July 23 that led to police responding to their Tampa hotel room. He’s shown in a still image from police bodycam footage, right, with his hands up. Hours later, he shot himself in the head in an attempted suicide. (Facebook/Tampa Police Department)

A witness saw the couple arguing and called 911 after seeing the man point a gun to his head.

By the time officers arrived about 6:30 p.m., the couple had returned to their 12th floor hotel room and the shaken witness had left, according to the video.

An officer can be seen approaching the door and shouting, “Tampa Police! Tampa Police! Come out with your hands up. Hands up!” 

Jody Ramirez and her husband of 30 years exit the room. 

But Miami’s top cop “had to be told multiple times to show his hands,” according to the incident report, and officers moved to handcuff him.

“What are you doing?” Ramirez asks. “You know I’m the director of the Miami-Dade Police Department? I didn’t do anything. I don’t understand.”

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After he was handcuffed, he denied he had pulled out a gun or that he was a threat to himself or anyone else. Officers questioned his wife separately, and she said they had gotten into a “heated” dispute.

“I know every button to push, and I’m pushing them today because I normally don’t drink. He got me an old-fashioned. It’s his fault,” she said.

Alfredo Ramirez in full uniform at a press conference.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez speaks during a press conference at Miami-Dade Police Department headquarters Jan. 8, 2020, in Miami. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP, File)

She assured officers that, while her husband always has his gun on him, he wasn’t a danger.

But she added, “He has plenty of demons from the job, as you guys all are probably aware of.”

After the couple was questioned, Alfredo Ramirez was released. He called his boss, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, about 8:30 p.m. to resign over the incident.

During a press conference, Cava said she told him to get home safely and that they’d discuss the matter the next day.

A little after 9 p.m., he pulled over on the side of a freeway south of Tampa and shot himself in the head. In a harrowing 911 call, his wife can be heard begging for help. 

In the 6½-minute call obtained by NBC Miami, his wife can be heard screaming, “Oh my God, help me!”

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Ramirez was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and will likely lose his right eye, the outlet reported.

The 27-year police veteran was appointed head of the largest law enforcement agency in the southeastern U.S. by the mayor, who has since designated an interim police director.

Four stills of Alfredo Ramirez and his wife from police bodycam footage.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez and wife Jody Ramirez shown in body camera video talking to Tampa Police outside their hotel room after the couple got into a spat. Hours later, he shot himself in the head in an attempted suicide. (Tampa Police Department via TMX)

In May, Ramirez announced his intention to run as a Democrat in the primary for the newly created role of Miami-Dade Sheriff. It’s unclear if he’ll remain in the race.

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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Highway Patrol are conducting a joint investigation into the shooting. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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