MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida police officer was shot and wounded Friday in what his chief called an ambush attack.
Miami Gardens Police Chief Antonio Brooklen told reporters that Officer David Starling’s injuries are not life-threatening. Brooklen said officers arrested a suspect after a short car chase that ended when the suspect’s black BMW sports-utility vehicle crashed, and he fled on foot. The suspect, identified later Friday as 24-year-old David Andres Mejia, was soon captured in a nearby yard.
Brooklen said Starling was fired upon numerous times Friday morning as he filled out an accident report in his marked patrol vehicle. Mejia also fired at other officers during the chase, but Brooklen said no shots were fired by police. The chief said a motive for the shooting wasn’t known, but he said the suspect was “someone who decided to ambush a police officer.”
“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. None whatsoever,” Brooklen said at a news conference.
Starling, 52, suffered a gunshot wound to an upper leg and was listed in good condition at a local hospital.
At least eight shots were fired at the police vehicle, the chief said, and a weapon was recovered in Mejia’s vehicle.
Miami Gardens, best known as the site of Sun Life Stadium where the NFL’s Dolphins play, is about 16 miles north of Miami.
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