Man Who Shot Miami Gardens Police Officer Takes Plea Deal, Gets 4 Years in Prison

A man who shot a Miami Gardens police officer in his patrol car last year will be spending four years in prison after accepting a plea deal in the case Wednesday.

David Mejia, 25, was also given 10 years of probation as part of the deal in the January 22, 2016 shooting of Officer David Starling. He also must undergo a mental health evaluation after his release from prison.

Mejia had been facing charges of first-degree attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest in the shooting. He could have faced life in prison if he had been convicted of all the charges.

"All of the parties that are involved here think that this is a fair, just and appropriate resolution of the case," Mejia's attorney, Patrick Trese, said after Wednesday's hearing.

Starling attended the hearing but didn't comment as he left the courtroom.

Prosecutors said Mejia shot at Officer Starling as he sat inside his patrol car filling out paperwork. Mejia was driving a black BMW SUV when he went past the officer and then backed up to shoot him, police said.

The bullets went through the metal door hitting the officer in the upper leg, but Starling called for back up and went after Mejia, police said. As other patrol cars approached Mejia they say he fired several more times at officers. No one else was hit.

"He's accepted responsibility, that's he's sorry for the pain that he caused the officers that were involved here," Trese said. "But he's also very sorry for the pain that he caused his family, his mother, his girlfriend, his father and he'll do everything he can in the future to avoid ending back where he was today."

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