Mentally ill gunman who ambushed cop gets four years in prison

A gunman with a history of mental-health problems got four years in prison Wednesday for wounding a Miami Gardens cop in a roadside ambush.

David Mejia, 25, pleaded guilty to a host of felonies, including attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer. As part of the plea deal, he must also serve 10 years of probation and get a follow-up mental-health evaluation.

In January 2016, the gunman was behind the wheel of a SUV when he shot at Miami Gardens Officer David Starling as the officer was filling out an accident report next to his patrol car. Starling survived with a wound to the leg.

Fellow officers chased Mejia, who fired at officers while driving away before crashing into a truck at the intersection of Northwest 183rd Street and 32nd Avenue. He was arrested minutes later.

Starling and the Miami Gardens police department approved the plea deal.

Miami-Dade prosecutor Justin Funck said the state weighed the defendant’s mental health issues, as well as the possibility of the insanity defense. “Those matters weighed heavily in determining a sentence,” Funck said.