Police Look For Connection in Series of Car Shootings

VIDEO: Police in North Carolina look for a connection in a series of car shootings.
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Police in Raleigh and Durham, N.C., continue to investigate whether a recent string of car shootings may be connected, after a third driver was shot at in just one week.

A couple told police they were driving on Interstate 540 around 10 p.m. on Wednesday night when a silver Acura began flashing its lights and tailgating them. The victims also say a Dodge Charger appeared to be trying to help the Acura box them in. Suddenly, their car was struck by one or two bullets.

"Someone just shot us on 540!" a 20-year-old woman riding in the passenger seat frantically told a 911 dispatcher.

A 23-year-old man who was behind the wheel suffered a minor glass cut on his arm when the bullet pierced through the driver's window and went through the passenger's window. The woman in the passenger seat was not injured.

The dispatcher told them to find a place to stop.

"I'm scared to stop… we need to find, like, a safe place to stop," the woman stuttered to the driver before bursting into tears.

"Take a deep breath," said the dispatcher.

"My girlfriend is having a panic attack," the man told the dispatcher. "My window's gonna shatter if I keep driving."

The couple continued to drive away from the scene before stopping in Terminal 1 at the Raleigh International Airport to talk to police.

The suspect was last seen going westbound on I-540 that evening. Raleigh police say they are now looking for an African-American man driving an early 2000s model silver Acura with tinted windows and chrome rims, who they say may be behind this latest shooting.

A preliminary investigation by Raleigh police shows Wednesday night's shooting may have been a case of road rage.

However, the shooting bears striking similarities to another incident earlier this week on the Durham Freeway.

On Monday night, a 32-year-old man said he was leaving a friend's house just after 10 p.m. when a dark blue Dodge Charger and a white or gray Acura followed him onto the southbound lanes of the Freeway. The victim says the people inside both vehicles shot at his car, causing him to lose control and crash through a median into the northbound lanes.

The victim managed to run approximately two miles away from the area through the woods, and he later called 911. He was not hurt.

But the shootings have already taken a fatal turn.

On Saturday afternoon, another driver was shot and killed on the Durham Highway, just a few blocks from downtown Durham.

Police believe the victim, 30-year-old Michael Orlando Hunter, was shot around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Hunter then drove his BMW 200 yards before running off the road and crashing into a tree at a nearby athletic park. Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I think it's sad," Christian Johnson, a friend of Hunter's, told WTVD. "It's senseless."

A preliminary investigation into the first two cases shows they were not random.

However, detectives say they have not determined yet if all three shootings are connected at this time. Both Raleigh and Durham agencies are working together to investigate the cases.

Police urge anyone with information related to these shootings to contact the Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP or Durham CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

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