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It sounds like it could be a bad park/neutral switch on the transmission. It only allows the starter to engage in park or neutral. When it wouldnt start, did you try to start it in neutral? Sometimes that works but the switch would still need replaced.
Let me know please.
Ok, it can still be a faulty P/N switch though. You might try swapping the starter relay with another relay(there may even be a spare relay in the fuse block) when it acts up again and see if that corrects it. Intermittent electrical issues are never cut and dry. The relay and P/N switch are the 2 most common causes of this though.
It wont be the shifter itself, BUT the shifter moves the linkage in the transmission that activates the P/N switch. I am now certain it needs replaced.
See diagram below.