Local News

Shooting Suspect Sought In Road Rage On Interstate 40

Posted January 10, 2005 5:58 a.m. EST

— Wake County investigators are closing in on a car and driver involved a weekend shooting sparked by road rage.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office said two carloads of young people were traveling down Capital Boulevard toward downtown Raleigh Saturday night when they got into a situation with the driver of a Ford Tempo.

The two vehicles with young people exited onto I-40 thinking the Tempo was gone and the incident was over.

"It continued onto I-40 and as it came near Johnston County, there was some shots fired injuring one of the people in the green SUV," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

Neil Anderson, of Youngsville, was shot in the face while sitting in the cargo area behind the back seat. One of the bullets is still lodged in his mouth. He is listed in stable condition at WakeMed. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Alex Anderson, Neil's father, is amazed his son is alive.

"Looking in his eyes, you can see in his eyes he is grateful to be alive and he's realizing now how close he was," Anderson said.

For Jenny Hannah, Neil's mother, each step in her son's recovery is a milestone.

"He squeezed my hands three times which, to him, tells me, 'I love you,'" said Jenny Hannah, Neil's mother.

Hannah said now she wants justice.

"It makes me angry that someone did this to him who doesn't even know him. He's a great kid. You couldn't ask for a better kid," she said.

"I see it daily," said Trooper William Henning of the state Highway Patrol. "It starts from something simple. Someone following too closely, excessive horn, speeding."

Henning said an aggressive driving law went into effect in December which means stiffer penalties for acts associated with road rage.

In a recent survey by RoadRagers.com, 70 percent of people admitted to tailgating; 78 percent admitted to using obscene gestures; 44 percent said if someone cuts them off they will return the favor and retaliate, and 60 percent agreed with the statement "other drivers are idiots!"

With that many anger-prone drivers on the roads, officials say it is good to know how to put the brakes on a heated situation.

"Slow down, get off the road, get off on an exit and just avoid it at all costs. That way you don't put yourself in a position to be injured or harmed or be involved in an accident," Henning advised.

Investigators have talked to 10 of Anderson's friends who were in the two cars that night and are getting lots of tips. They are hoping someone will come forward from the shooter's car and give them a lead.

Deputies are looking for an older model white Ford Tempo with gray primer spots on it and North Carolina tags. The driver is described as a man between 19 and 24 years old with blond hair, an earring and visible acne.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Wake County Sheriff's Office at (919) 856-6911.