A Miami police officer is recovering after police said he was ambushed by a gunman while filling out an accident report.
According to Chief Antonio Brooklen, the victim was identified as David Starling, an eight-year veteran for the Miami Gardens Police Department, reported NBC Bay Area. Starling was parked in a shopping center just before 8:30 a.m. when 24-year-old David Andres Mejia drove by, made eye contact with him, backed up, and fired at him.
Starling took cover, but was shot once in his lower extremities. He radioed to other officers to be on the lookout for Mejia, who was headed westbound on Miami Gardens Drive.
Officers caught up with Mejia, who reportedly led them in a chase and shot at several officers while driving. He subsequently crashed his car and attempted to escape on foot, but was apprehended in the yard of a nearby home.
“If you have that much hate and aggression to attempt to assassinate a police officer who is paid to protect and serve, there is no justification for it,” Brooklen said in a press conference, according to NBC Bay Area. "None whatsoever.
“The violence against police officers in this country must stop, the violence against children must stop, the violence against our community must stop. No one is exempt from violence. We suffer as a community, we can overcome this as a community."
Starling was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries. He was reported to be in good condition. Mejia was charged with five counts of attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated fleeing, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, among additional charges.