Deputies in Robeson County, North Carolina say they’re looking for a man who shot and killed a mother of six during a road rage incident on Thursday morning. Deputies said Pennsylvania woman Julie Eberly, 47, was in the area with her husband Ryan Eberly. Their vehicle got close to the suspect’s during a merge in the lane, according to authorities. The shooter got alongside their vehicle on the passenger side, rolled down a window, and opened fire into the passenger door, authorities said. One of the shots fatally hit Eberly, who later died at UNC Southeastern Hospital.
“This murderous coward must be caught,” Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said. “Please come forward with information that I know someone has. Or better yet, be a man and turn yourself in as I am sure you will read this.”
The suspect sped off, left on Exit 22 of I-95, and crossed over the bridge into the city of Lumberton, authorities said. From deputies:
The suspect vehicle is described as a possible 2010 model Chevrolet Malibu or Impala, silver or grey in color with tinted windows and possibly with chrome around the window frame. The suspect is described as an African American with dreadlocks.
Officers were dispatched at about 11:40 a.m. Detectives seek video or eyewitness accounts of the incident, which they said happened between the 23 and 25 marker along I-95 South.
“This was an innocent family from Pennsylvania headed to the beach for a vacation,” Wilkins said. “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 on 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.”
A Robeson County resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, supplied the money for a $10,000 reward leading to probable cause for the arrest of suspects, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities also highlighted a GoFundMe account started in Eberly’s memory. Wilkins said the family declined to start one in the first place, but did so after he asked them to reconsider. “Hundreds upon hundreds” of people had been contacting the office, asking where to send money.
The campaign raised $46,404 as of Monday morning.
“We want to raise funds to honor Julie and her life,” the campaign stated. “Julie was a beautiful, loving, generous, and giving person. We will be using the funds to help others and to give to the organizations that were close to her heart. We are thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers from the Lumberton and Manheim/Lancaster Communities. May Julie’s death not be in vain and may her memory live on by the giving in her name.”
Sheriff’s Investigators are asking that anyone with information pertaining to this investigation, please call the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3170 or email [email protected].
[Image via Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]