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HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade Police Union says a veteran Homestead police officer, who shot and killed a man, was forced to fire his weapon Thursday afternoon because he “feared for his life.”

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Blanca Torrents Greenwood, the Executive Director of Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the shooting of 35-year-old Edward Foster III by 20-year-veteran Homestead Police Officer Anthony Green, appears to have been justified.

“Officers were dispatched to a call reference a man with a gun,” said Greenwood. “Upon arrival the officer sees the subject who points the gun at the officer. The officer in fear for his life shot his weapon.”

The shooting happened near a building that is under construction at the intersection of SW 328th St. and 187th Ave. just after 4 PM. Foster had just left a nearby market.

Miami-Dade Police say Officer Green was in his patrol car when he got in to a confrontation with Foster and he fired the shots from inside his vehicle.

Greenwood said officers often have to make split-second decisions. She is speaking out after Foster’s relatives are raising questions about the shooting and Green’s background.

“These officers are very well trained. It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback. You can’t do that. These officers at the scene have to make that decision quick like that. This is how fast you can take a life, an officer’s life,” she said while snapping her fingers. “We want officers to go home at night to their families.”

Foster was the father of six children.

His mother, Altie Banuchi, said “I just think that they saw a gun and that’s what they do. That’s what officers do these days.”

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Records show Foster had been in trouble before.

He had been on probation for a conviction on a 2011 armed robbery and attempted murder case. According to our CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald, Foster served 364 days in jail and was put on five years’ probation.

A check of records by CBS4 also showed that Foster was arrested in 1998 for battery on a law enforcement officer, in 2006 for marijuana possession, in 2009 for burglary and 2011 for cocaine possession. Records show he was arrested in 2012 for a home invasion and armed robbery and in 2015 for battery.

His sister Andrina Foster said, “He did things in the past. They’re trying to make this big but he just liked to have fun.”

“This is the fourth time with this officer doing this,” she said. “This time he is going to get prosecuted because this time my brother is not guilty.”

Homestead Police said Green had been involved in other deadly shootings. He was reportedly cleared in two previous deadly shootings. In one of those incidents from 2007, the P.B.A. told D’Oench that Green was nominated by the P.B.A. for Officer of the year after he saved the life of a mother and her son.

Blanca Torrents Greenwood said, “Officer Green prevented the murder of a woman and child in a domestic violence situation where the subject stabbed the woman and the child and Officer Green confronted the subject and prevented the murder of the woman and the child.”

She said she expected Green to be placed on administrative duties pending the investigation.

Police said they did recover Foster’s pistol but it’s been placed in evidence.

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They said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be investigating the case.

Peter D'Oench