Florida police have arrested a man accused of shooting a family sleeping in their car, including a pregnant woman.
Tampa Police arrested Christopher Stamat Jr., 21, on Saturday in connection with the shooting which took place at around 4:30am on October 5.
Stamat allegedly shot the pregnant mother in the head, leaving her with non-life threatening injuries.
Stamat, who is being held without bond faces six felony charges for the attack, including four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of second degree attempted murder and one count of shooting into a vehicle.
In a news conference on Sunday morning, Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor said revealed how police arrested Stamat on Saturday for felony marijuana possession but was later released.
He was then re-arrested later that afternoon after making the case for the shooting charge, O’Connor explained.
Our community as a whole can sleep easier tonight knowing the suspect linked to this monstrous, random act of violence is no longer free to prey on innocent people,’ O’Connor said.
‘You take a gun, and you unload it on a family. We can’t really sit back and try to figure out the ‘why’ on that. There’s really zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.’
The shooting occurred in a parking lot across from the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex in the Old West Tampa neighborhood.
Stamat was identified after police traced his 2012 BMW through surveillance footage from the scene.
His car was found in the garage of his girlfriend’s home some three miles from the scene of the attack.
Police searched Stamat’s car and home after obtaining warrants whereupon they found an empty gun box for a 9mm handgun and empty shell casings matching those found at the scene of the crime.
O’Connor also told how the handgun police found was not the one Stamat allegedly used in the shooting.
The chief added how the door to his bedroom in which the shell casings were found requires fingerprint identification to open the door, ‘so there’s no doubt that these shell casings belong to him,’ she said.
Stamat already admitted he was the only person who had used his car recently and that he was driving in the area of the crime the morning of the shooting.
Stamat, who appeared to be obsessed with weight lifting and working out, judging by photos on his social media page did not provide police a motive for the shooting but told authorities that he believed he was being stalked and followed, which his girlfriend also confirmed to police.
The father, who is in his 30s, saw another car pull up and heard gunshots. He yelled for his wife, who is in her 20s, and their three children to get down in order to dodge the bullets.
The mother, who is pregnant, was struck in the head and taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The children, a nine-year-old girl, a four-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl were all uninjured in the shooting, according to police. The children are now staying with other family members in Florida.
The family are said to have been living in a rental car because a relative did not have space for them. They had spent recent months of living outside of Florida.
They had covered the windows of their car with clothes making it hard for any suspect to see who was inside.
Stamat allegedly fired more than a dozen shots before fleeing.
Police said there is currently no indication of any connection between Stamat and the victims.
No doubt he’ll be out in the street in no time, that is how the law operated now days. And the children will be stolen from their parents!