ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) – A woman was killed in a road rage shooting Thursday morning in Robeson County, authorities said.
Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said the shooting happened at approximately 11:40 a.m. on Interstate 95 South near the weigh station just north of the city limits of Lumberton.
According to Wilkins, 47-year-old Julie Eberly, of Manheim, Pennsylvania, was shot through a passenger door and later died at UNC Southeastern Hospital. Her husband was not injured in the shooting, the sheriff said.
“Prayers are needed for the victims involved,” Wilkins said.
Authorities said the investigation revealed the road rage encounter developed after the victims’ vehicle came close to the suspect vehicle while merging into a lane.
The suspect vehicle then came alongside the victim’s passenger side before the suspect rolled down his window and fired multiple shots into the door, one of which fatally struck Eberly.
Witnesses said the suspect then sped off and exited at Exit 22 before crossing over the bridge coming into Lumberton.
The sheriff added the couple was on their way to Hilton Head Island, S.C. on vacation.
“This was an innocent family from Pennsylvania headed to the beach for a vacation,” said Wilkins. “Thankfully they had left their six children at home with grandparents but now these kids have to live with the thought of their mother being murdered in such a cowardly and senseless way. My heart goes out to this family and I ask that everyone reading this stop and pray for this entire family.”
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a possible 2010 model silver or grey Malibu or Impala with dark tinted windows and chrome around the window frame operated by an African American with dreadlocks. Witnesses traveling in the area of the shooting said the vehicle was involved.
Wilkins said his investigators are looking for any video footage to help with the investigation.
He’s asking anyone with a surveillance system on Fayetteville Road to Exit 22 on I-95 to check their video around the 11:30 a.m. and noon mark and see if there is anything that can help investigators find the suspect vehicle.
The sheriff added that Lumberton police and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol are assisting.
Wilkins said Robeson Community College was on lockdown but he advised administrators to lift it around 1 p.m.
Anyone with information related to the shooting is asked to call (910) 671-3170 or 911.