Authorities said two carloads of young people were involved in an argument on Capital Boulevard on Saturday night. The situation continued onto I-40 and as the cars came near Johnston County, there were shots fired from a Ford Tempo, injuring 21-year-old Neil Anderson, who was one of the people in a green SUV, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
Ryan Michael Mandell, 23, and Christopher Wayne Bingman, 24, both of 121 Pond Drive in Hubert are charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Jesse Dewayne Sipler, 17, of South King Street in Hubert, was released by police after questioning determined he was not involved.
The men were found Tuesday morning in Onslow County. Authorities said they found a shotgun in one of their homes. The Onslow County Sheriff's Office and the Swansboro Police Department assisted the Wake County Sheriff's Office with the arrests.
"They were surprised to see us," Harrison said. "They knew what we were there for."
Sources close to the case say Bingman was the driver. They say Mandell, a passenger, held the wheel while Bingman shot out the window into SUV.
Harrison credits the media for bringing attention to the case.
"I think they (the suspects) thought they were home free being that they were 2 1/2 hours away, but thanks to the people that were listening and called us we solved it pretty quickly," Harrison said.
Anderson, who was shot twice in the face, is recovering to WakeMed, where he is listed in good condition. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.
"We expected some help, but we were just blown away the response that has come in from the public," said Jenny Hannah, Anderson's mother. "It's been fantastic. We'd really like to thank everybody that's given the sheriff's department tips."
Hannah told Anderson about the arrests Tuesday in the hospital.
"He started to cry as much as he can with what he's got," Hannah said. "He just turned over to me and started crying and expressed relief. He's just so pleased. It's just unbelievable."
Anderson still has a fragment from the shotgun blast lodged in his mouth and his jaw is wired shut so he cannot speak, but his mother said he took a pen and wrote the word "motivation" on a piece of paper. Family members said that exemplifies the kind of person he is -- a fighter who expects to make a full recovery.