Months After Their Breakup, The Couple Reconciled And Quickly Planned A Murder: Deputies

In just over a day, a former couple reconnected, plotted a murder, and attempted to carry it out, according to Lake County, Florida, deputies.

Arianna Selina Gajraj, 21, enticed the victim outside, and the gunman, Brandon Pirela, 24, set up an ambush, but the target escaped, according to records.

The couple is currently in jail without bond on charges of attempted first-degree murder. An arraignment is scheduled for April 8.

Deputies responded to Peppermill Trail in Clermont about 1:53 a.m. for a shooting. They met with the victim.

“Deputies located numerous spent cartridge casings on Peppermill Trail in the roadway and discovered the victim’s vehicle had multiple projectile strikes as well as a Massey work truck,” according to the probable cause statement.


There were 21 expended 9 mm bullet shells on the road, 13 projectile impacts on the victim’s vehicle, three on the Massey work truck, and one on a neighboring mailbox, according to the affidavit.

The victim stated that he picked up Gajraj and that they planned to smoke and discuss Pirela-related problems.

“The victim described that Pirela, throughout the week, has been sending threatening messages to him as Pirela was making accusations of Gajraj and the victim having a relationship,” the law enforcement agency said. “The victim stated that he became nervous and asked Gajraj if Pirela had any way to track her location, to which she said he didn’t.”

He stated that while driving, Gajraj received a phone call from Pirela, who inquired as to what she was doing.

The victim identified himself as parking his car on Peppermill Trail.

A short time later, “a white 2014 body style Toyota Camry with a dark tint” arrived in front of his vehicle. The driver got out and fired several rounds from a handgun with an extended magazine.

“The victim said he has previously seen a picture posted by Pirela on Instagram that showed a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine,” the statement read. “The victim described Pirela as being of comparable height and build to Brandon Pirela, whom he had previously met. He characterized Pirela as wearing all dark attire and a mask. The victim went on to state that he reversed away from Pirela and fled the scene. The victim claimed Pirela pursued him west on Old Highway 50 and eventually avoided him.

According to the records, he dropped Gajraj off in front of the Highland Park subdivision, expecting a family member to pick her up. The individual called his own relatives and eventually met with officers from the Clermont Police Department.

Investigators stated that the victim provided screenshots of discussions from a now-deactivated Instagram account. Pirela allegedly wrote, “Ari told me sun about you,’ and “Just don’t make me f— you up, take it how you want.”

“The victim replied, asking what [redacted] meant, and asked to speak with him about the issue,” the police officer stated. This individual did not respond. “The victim provided additional messages sent by Pirela from another Instagram account, ‘'”

“Do I have to smack the s— outta you?” Pirela supposedly stated: “You said you were a threat to me, lmaoooooo?????” Do you want me to bring you down, colonial? We are alive. You got me really fucked up, you little n—-. When I see you, I recognize you right away, and the same is true for your p—- a- buddies.”

Gajraj told detectives during a noncustodial interview at a taco restaurant that the victim picked her up to smoke marijuana.

She stated that she received a blocked call from Pirela.

“She said Pirela asked her where she was, and she said ‘out,’ with the victim echoing the same in the background,” the law enforcement agency said. “She described how they eventually parked in the Greater Hills subdivision.” She stated that the victim was concerned about Pirela and began loading his handgun while she was preparing the marijuana for smoking.

A white automobile pulled in front of them, the victim started reversing, and many shots were fired. She stated that she didn’t see Pirela.

However, once investigators announced that cellphone data would be sought as part of the inquiry, Gajraj allegedly stated that she called Pirela after the shooting and asked for his location, to which he replied that he was at home.

“She would not elaborate on why she called him,” deputies added.

Gajraj informed investigators that they broke up roughly three months ago. They had been dating for approximately a year.

Using a license plate scanner, investigators located a car that matched the suspect vehicle. This automobile was registered to Pirela.

A surveillance camera captured the incident, and other footage shows a vehicle matching Pirela’s at Gajraj’s house around 1:26 a.m.

According to the police, it is currently unknown if Pirela picked up Gajraj, which would be consistent with the LPR data and Gajraj calling Pirela after the shooting.

Investigators discovered that Gajraj had a Pinger account, which she used to connect with Pirela between 6:12 p.m. on Nov. 30 and 12:39 a.m. on Dec. 1.

“The messages begin with Gajraj confronting Pirela about issues in their previous relationship, them reconciling, then them discussing a plan for Brandon to kill the victim,” according to the records.

They had intended for Pirela to attack the victim while he was getting into a car.

“It then turned to Pirela blocking the victim in, citing Gajraj and their relationship problems as a reason. Gajraj says she doesn’t want to stay up too late, and Pirela responds, “No, he’s dying.” Gajraj does emphasize that she does not want them to be dumb with weapons, but Pirela repeatedly states that his objective is to get the victim. Gajraj eventually devises her own strategy for the ambush, instructing Pirela to call her from a blocked number so she can earn the victim’s trust.”

From there, she allegedly kept Pirela informed of her and the victim’s whereabouts.

“The final message, which is about her sharing her location, is sent at 00:39:13 hours,” the police said. “This is approximately 12 minutes before the shooting occurred.”

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Jimmy Clyde
Jimmy Clyde
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