A University of Central Florida student was shot and killed earlier this month after he stopped to help a woman who flagged him down on the side of the road.
Adam Simjee, 22, and his girlfriend Mikayla Paulus, 20, were driving through the Talladega National Forest in Alabama on the morning of August 14 when a woman flagged them down and claimed her car wouldn’t start, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) said in a news release to WBRC. That woman was Yasmine Hider, and when the couple tried to help her, she allegedly pulled out a gun and forced the couple to walk into the woods.
Simjee, however, had his own gun, and pulled it out, which led to an “exchange of gunfire” that left Hider with several gunshot wounds to the torso. Simjee was shot in the back. Paulus, who wasn’t injured, attempted to revive Simjee using CPR, but he died at the scene, according to the CCSO.
Hider was laying nearby and taken to a Birmingham, Alabama, hospital, where she received surgery for her injuries. Police determined that another woman, Krystal Pinkins, had also been present for the robbery but had fled the scene when shots were fired.
“Over the next several hours sheriff deputies received information that they may be a group of people ‘living off the grid’ somewhere in the National Forest. This group of people were reported to be armed and potentially violent,” the CCSO statement said.
A tracking team using dogs from the Alabama Department of Corrections, as well as aerial observation and police from multiple nearby precincts, began searching the area for the suspects. They soon found “a large group of tents” that “appeared to be a base camp” located about a half mile from where the robbery occurred.
“As law enforcement were approaching the base camp, they observed a black female standing near the tents. As officers were ordering the female to the ground a 5-year-old child ran from the woods holding a loaded shotgun. Law enforcement told the child to put the shotgun down however the child continued to the female’s location before laying the gun on the ground,” the CCSO statement said.
The child was later determined to be Pinkins’ son. Pinkins was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, and her son was taken by the Department of Human Resources.
Pinkins was also charged with one count of murder, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of robbery. CCSO investigators have also obtained warrants against Hider for the same charges, but she is currently recovering in the hospital from her injuries.