Police arrested Nyjuan B. Waller, 21, of Gainesville, on a warrant for attempted murder.

A Gainesville man may be alive today because a handgun about three feet from him twice misfired.

The weapon discharged on the third try, but by then, police say, the man was running away.

Gainesville police on Thursday arrested the suspected shooter, Nyjuan B. Waller, 21, of 4174 SW 17th Place, on a warrant for attempted murder. His address is in the Southern Pines Apartments, where the shooting occurred.

On the night of April 12, Waller approached Ernest L. Smith as he sat in a chair, according to a GPD affidavit, which cites three witnesses. Waller spoke to him, pointed a silver semi-automatic 9mm handgun at him and pulled the trigger.

The gun appeared to malfunction, police said. He tried a second time, and once again the weapon malfunctioned.

Smith got up and ran and Waller "then successfully fired a round," the affidavit says. It missed Smith, hitting a propane tank instead.