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 between Red Springs and Maxton, authorities said.
"They were going down the road, and the guys sped up to her and they started shooting at the engine of the car," said Eric Cahoon, Cahoon's older brother.
Jessica Cahoon was shot in the head, and the assailants grabbed her gold necklace, her brother said.
"Her boyfriend got out and pulled out everything he had on him, and was, like, 'Please, take it. Leave us alone,'" he said.
Locklear was shot in the arm but managed to run into some nearby woods to hide before making his way to a house to call for help, authorities said.
Jessica Cahoon worked at a Holiday Inn off Interstate 95 in Fayetteville for eight years, most recently as sales manager. Her brother said she and Locklear lived with her mother so they could save money.
"Her ultimate goal was to get enough money saved up and have the family – the two-and-a-half kids," Eric Cahoon said.
He said he was willing to put up $5,000 as a reward for information leading to arrests in the case.
"I just want these guys to get justice," he said.