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Julie Eberly had been planning to celebrate seven years of marriage at Hilton Head Island during a relaxing vacation getaway with her husband, but the Pennsylvania mom of six would never make it.
Instead, Julie stopped breathing laying along a North Carolina interstate after an irate driver—who authorities later identified as Dejwyan R. Floyd—fired into the couple’s white GMC Yukon around 11:40 a.m. on March 25, striking her through the passenger door of the vehicle.
“Some guy just shot into my car and my wife’s hit,” her husband Ryan Eberly can be heard desperately telling a 911 dispatcher in a recording obtained by local station WPDE.
“She’s bleeding badly,” Ryan said. “I need help now.”
Ryan told the dispatcher that Julie had been shot in the hip and was not conscious or responsive.
“She’s breathing, but very labored,” he said in the 10-minute call with authorities.
As Ryan waits along the side of the road for help to arrive, he pleads with his 47-year-old wife to “keep breathing.”
“Stay with me, stay with me please,” he says before breaking down.
The dispatcher assures Ryan that help is on the way and instructs him to remove her from the vehicle, put pressure on the wound and keep her airway open.
“You’re doing a really good job and we’ve got help coming to you,” she said.
But about six minutes into the phone call, Ryan says that he “can’t tell if she’s breathing” and then confirms that his wife has stopped breathing on her own.
“Julie, come on!” he screams and breaks into sobs. “You guys have gotta hurry, please!”
Ryan performed CPR on his wife until authorities arrived along the side of I-95 South to take over life-saving measures. The Robeson County EMS transported Julie to UNC Southeastern medical center, where she later died, according to a statement from the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office classified the shooting as a road rage incident that unfolded along a stretch of the highway just north of Lumberton.
“The investigation revealed a road rage encounter unknowingly developed after the victim’s GMC Yukon came close to the suspect’s Chevrolet Malibu during a merge into a lane,” the sheriff’s office said. “The suspect then pulled to the victim’s side, rolled down his window and fired multiple shots into the passenger door.”
Ryan later told local station WGAL that he had changed lanes and didn’t see that another car was coming up behind him.
“I didn’t see that he was going around me. I pushed him to the shoulder mistakenly,” Ryan said. “As soon as I was able, I gave him room to get back on the highway. No car contact.”
But the driver of the sedan, allegedly took his rage out on the couple firing shots into the vehicle as he passed the Yukon and then exited off the highway.
An eyewitness also called 911 to report the deadly encounter.
“You got to hurry up because it fired shots into that truck and I am not sure if somebody’s hit,” the unidentified caller said in a recording obtained by WPDE.
The eyewitness was able to describe the shooter’s vehicle as a gray Malibu, which she said quickly got off the highway at exit 22.
One week after Julie was killed, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office announced that Floyd, 29, had been arrested at 12:38 a.m. on April 1 at the Parkview Apartments in Lumberton, North Carolina after video surveillance footage from area businesses and residents was used to track his movements after getting off the highway.
Floyd is now facing charges of first-degree murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied property.
He is currently being held at the Robeson County Detention Center.
“Regardless of the circumstances, no one deserved to be murdered while traveling our nation’s highways. I am proud of the investigative work put forth by the law enforcement agencies that came together as one to bring this case to a successful conclusion,” Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said while announcing the arrest.
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