Local News

Police: Man wanted in wife's shooting; Amber Alert canceled for 2 children

Posted November 10, 2007 9:38 p.m. EST
Updated October 17, 2008 9:45 p.m. EDT

— Police are searching for a man whose wife was shot outside a Dunn hospital Saturday night. An Amber Alert issued for two of their children was canceled Sunday morning.

Azucena D. Diaz, 28, of Autryville, was shot in the head and chest in the employee parking lot of Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital at about 8 p.m., according to Dunn police.

Diaz is an employee at the 800 Tilghman Dr. hospital. She was treated in the emergency room and later airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill where she was listed in critical condition.

Diaz’s estranged husband, Joaquin Rangel Ramirez, 31, is wanted in connection with the shooting, police said. Ramirez is described as a Hispanic man, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

At the time of the shooting, he was wearing a blue and yellow jacket, police said. Ramirez left the scene in a vehicle believed to be a white pearl 2002 Cadillac Escalade with white rims, tinted windows and North Carolina license tag number VZT9795.

He is considered to be armed and dangerous. An Amber Alert was issued for two of the couple’s children, Maren Rangel and Briana Ramirez.

The children were unaccounted for and thought to be with Ramirez. He had made threats to harm himself and the children, police said.

The children were found unharmed at an undisclosed location at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ramirez is urged to call the Dunn Police Department at 910-892-2399 or 910-892-2345.