MELBOURNE, Fla. - A North Carolina man is facing charges for attempted murder and stalking after gunfire erupted at a Melbourne shopping plaza Wednesday.
Police said the man traveled to central Florida with one thing in mind -- confronting a woman he first noticed on her job back in the North Carolina.
That woman had just stepped out of a pet store with her son and brother when she spotted the man. She told
police she knew he had come to kill her.
Andrew Samaj stood before a Brevard County judge Thursday, dressed in a protective vest. Police said he did more than threaten a woman at the Melbourne strip mall.
"It says the victim was unaware the defendant was in the state until she exited a local store with her 5-year-old son and brother, at which time he approached them with a loaded shotgun," said the judge in court.
What the victim didn't know is that there was a GPS tracking device attached to her car. Police said a receipt for that device was found in the defendant's rental car.
"The suspect told the brother of the victim to walk away from the victim, at which point (the brother) didn't. He lunged at the gunman (and) grabbed the shotgun. The gun went off, luckily no one was hurt," said Sgt. Sheridan Shelley of the Melbourne Police Department.
The woman's brother was able to wrest the gun away from Samaj.
Police said the woman ran to her car and retrieved her brother's weapon. She handed off the shotgun to Christina
"(Samaj) was laying full force on the ground and the other one had an army stance just on top of
him. That guy was not moving anywhere. I knew he had some kind of experience, holding him down," said Edmondson.
Channel 9's Melonie Holt reached the woman's brother through Facebook Thursday. He said that justice prevailed and it was thanks to his training as a soldier in the Army reserves.
"It was a very bad situation. I could tell it was not going to end well," said Edmundson.
Samaj is currently being held without bond.