Jessica Cahoon, 26, had gone to Robeson County with her boyfriend, Antonio Locklear, on Monday night to celebrate his mother's birthday. They were headed home after midnight in her Honda Civic when three men in a champagne-colored Cadillac forced them to stop on Old Red Springs Road, authorities said.
The men shot Cahoon in the head as she sat in the driver's seat, authorities said. Locklear ran into the woods along the road to hide and suffered minor injuries to one of his arms, authorities said.
Authorities hadn't identified a motive for the shooting by Tuesday night.
Cahoon lived with her parents and worked full time at a Fayetteville hotel, neighbor Juanita McLean said.
"(She was) very independent. She worked every day," McLean said. "They hurt an innocent person, a very good person."