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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Gardens police officer shot while filling out some paper work in his patrol car has been released from the hospital.
Patrolman David Starling left Aventura Hospital Tuesday afternoon accompanied by a Miami Gardens police officer.
“We are relieved he is back home with his family,” said Capt. Rafael Suarez.
Authorities said Starling was fired upon at NW 183rd St. and NW 7th Ave. on Friday, January 22nd.
They said the shooter, David Mejia, 24, drove by the officer, backed up his BMW and unloaded at least six shots into Starling’s driver-side doors, as evidenced by the bullet holes that were left.
Starling, who was struck in the buttocks, managed to radio for help as he followed the driver who had shot him.
Eventually Mejia crashed into a pickup and bailed out of his car, police collared him a short time later.
Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera said Starling had guardian angels looking out for him.
“We could have been going to a funeral,” he said.
No police officer fired their weapons during the course of taking Mejia into custody.
Miami Gardens Police Chief Antonio Brooklen said he’s proud of the way his officers handled the situation.
“Every police officer that takes this job knows the risk, we take the good and the bad. We are second guessed in every situation. But when you take this job you have an understanding, that knows that you may not come home at the end of the day and yet and still these officers with the City of Miami Gardens they come to work every day. They come to work focused. They come to work with a renewed attitude to provide a safe environment for our citizens.”
Starling has been with Miami Gardens since 2007. He spent a majority of his law enforcement career working for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.