04/02/2012 03:46 pm ET

New Jersey Mom Outsmarts Carjacker, Saves Daughters

Foiling a potentially violent carjacking, a quick-thinking mother from New Jersey saved the lives of her two daughters, and also helped authorities nab a criminal, NBC New York reports.

The woman and her daughters, ages 8 and 16, were leaving Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth, N.J., on Sunday when they were approached by an armed man, Fox News reports.

Police spokesperson for the Port Authority of NY/NJ, Al Della Fave, said that the woman immediately locked her doors.

According to Fox News, the man began banging on the windows and demanded that the woman turn over her SUV. He then fired his gun -- twice -- into the pavement.

But the woman refused to turn her car over. Instead, she took off as fast as she could, leaving the gunman behind.

"She basically punched the gas and got out of there," Della Fave told the Star-Ledger.

Finding a police officer at the nearby Port Authority Marine Terminal in Elizabeth, the woman and her daughters reported the incident.

Taking a feather out of their brave mother's cap, the two young girls offered a detailed description of their aggressor.

According to Officer Frank Conti, it was thanks to their "tremendous recall" that police offers were able to identify and apprehend three suspects.

The alleged gunman Terrell Melvin from Newark, N.J., was wearing a monitoring bracelet on his ankle, police said.