LUMBERTON, N.C. — A 29-year-old man is behind bars, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a mother of six while driving down Interstate 95 in Lumberton.
Dejywan Floyd, 29, of Lumberton, was arrested early Thursday at an apartment complex, the Robeson County Sherriff’s Office said in a news release.
Julie Eberly, 47, was riding in the passenger seat with her husband on March 25. The couple, who are from Pennsylvania, were on their way to Hilton Head Island to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Floyd is charged in the fatal shooting of Julie Eberly, 47, of Manheim, Pennsylvania. The arrest comes a week after Eberly was killed when shots were fired from a car on Interstate 95, just north of Lumberton, as Eberly and her husband were driving to the beach to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Ryan Eberly was not injured.
The sheriff’s office said an investigation revealed a road rage encounter unknowingly developed after the victim’s GMC Yukon came close to Floyd’s Chevrolet Malibu during a merge into a lane. Floyd then allegedly pulled to the victim’s passenger side, where Julie Eberly was seated, rolled down his window and fired multiple shots into the passenger door. Witnesses said the suspect then drove off. Ryan Eberly was not injured.
Ryan Eberly said he changed lanes and accidentally forced the other driver off the road.
”I saw in my mirror that he was passing us to the right and gunshots were fired, our car was hit. My wife yelled my name. I asked if she was hit and she said ‘yes,’” Ryan Eberly said.
Julie Eberly was taken to UNC Southeastern where she later died.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that the driver of the car was Dejywan R. Floyd.
Floyd, 29, was arrested just after midnight Thursday morning at Parkview Apartments in Lumberton. He was charged with first-degree murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied property.
He’s being held in the Robeson County Detention Center without bond.
Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said surveillance footage provided by dozens of businesses and residents helped track Floyd’s path before and after the shooting.
”The arrest of Floyd is the direct result of law enforcement agencies and the community working together,” Wilkins said. “The surveillance footage provided to investigators by dozens of cooperating businesses and residents were critical elements in the tracking of Floyd’s path in Cumberland County prior to the shooting and throughout Lumberton and beyond after the shooting. Regardless of the circumstances, no one deserved to be murdered while traveling our nations highways.”
Ryan Eberly said that while he may have accidentally forced the driver over to the shoulder of I-95 when he switched lanes, that he did not escalate the situation.
Eberly said he had switched into the right lane to go around a slower driver and became aware of the Malibu driving on the shoulder. The Malibu’s driver rolled his window down and gestured, Eberly said.
Eberly said he responded by gesturing that he was sorry and returned to the left lane. Moments later, he noticed the Malibu following closely behind him before the driver then pulled alongside, rolled down the window and started shooting, Eberly said.
Floyd has served several prison terms over the last decade for assault with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering, possession of a firearm by a felon and other charges, according to state prison records.
Cox Media Group