The Sunday shopping trip ended dangerously for the young family, who narrowly escaped gunfire.
Police say the victim and her children had just pulled into the Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth around 3:30 p.m. when a man came up to her BMW.
With a gun pointed at her window, his other hand tugging at her door, he demanded she get out and give up her SUV.
"She began to scream and stated that she had two children in the car," said Lt. Daniel Ray, of the Port Authority Police Department. "He told the woman to get out of the vehicle, take her children."
Frightened for their lives, with no time to think, the mother turned the engine back on, put the car in reverse and sped off while the would-be carjacker fired several shots.
Thankfully, the bullets missed.
The mother evetually spotted a Port Authority police officer patrolling the area.
Half an hour later, officers arrested three Newark residents in a gray Acura, and they reportedly found a .22-caliber semi-automatic weapon in the glove compartment.
As for the 25-year-old alleged carjacker, police say he is no stranger to crime.
Authorities say he was wearing an ankle bracelet and was out on parole for robbery.
The 30-year-old woman police say was driving and another man in the car were also arrested and charged.
"One of the suspects, he admitted that he did it," Port Authority Police Sgt. Scott Kelliher said. "And he wants to take the blame for it, but they are all involved."
The man who fired the shots faces charges including carjacking, unlawful possession of a weapon, aggravated assault and terroristic threats.
The other two suspects face carjacking charges. Police say none of the suspects were carrying identification.
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