A Pennsylvania mother of six was shot and killed in a road rage incident Thursday in Lumberton, North Carolina, as she drove to the beach with her husband.
Julie Eberly, 47, of Manheim, was killed after a driver pulled up to her passenger’s door and shot her through the window. Police responded to the shooting at around 11:40 a.m. on March 25, according to a statement from the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Police found Eberly with gunshot wounds and transferred her to the UNC Southeast Hospital, where she later died. Her husband, Ryan Eberly, was not injured.
Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said Thursday that Eberly was leaving behind six children who were at home with their grandparents at the time of filming.
“Prayers are needed for the victims involved,” Wilkins said, according to WMBF News.
Police said the shooting took place after the victim’s vehicle approached the suspect’s car as it entered a new lane. The suspect vehicle then approached Eberly’s passenger door before rolling down the window and firing several shots, one of which fatally struck Eberly.
Witnesses said the suspect then sped and exited at Exit 22, on I-95 north of Lumberton, which is in southeastern North Carolina, about 20 miles from the border of the State of South Carolina.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help in locating a silver or gray 2010 Chevrolet Malibu or Impala with dark tinted glass and chrome around the window frames. The suspect driving the vehicle was described by witnesses as an African-American man with dreadlocks.
“It was an innocent family from Pennsylvania going to the beach for vacation,” Wilkins said in a statement Thursday.
“Fortunately, they left their six children at home with their grandparents, but now these children have to live with the idea of their mother being murdered in such a cowardly and senseless way. My heart goes out to this family and I ask everyone who reads this article to stop and pray for this whole family, ”he added.
Wilkins added Thursday that investigators were looking for video footage to help with the investigation, WMBF reported.
Anyone with a surveillance system on Fayetteville Road up to Exit 22 of I-95 was asked to check their video around 11:30 a.m. and noon to see if there was anything that could help investigators find the suspect vehicle. Lumberton Police and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol are participating in the investigation.
Witnesses or anyone with information about the shooting were asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3170 or call 911.
Newsweek contacted the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department for further comment on the investigation, but they did not provide a statement beyond Thursday’s press release.