Authorities identified the victims as Keysawn Lorenzo Cooley and Randy Lee Hargraves Jr., both of Durham.
The incident happened on Interstate 85 near the Groometown Road exit while the bus was traveling from Durham to Charlotte. The 911 call for help came around 9 p.m., according to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
Both men were working on the party bus, which they owned through their business venture, Clipper Gang Elite Transportation, authorities said. Family members of the victims said the shooter had rented the party bus for the night.
Cooley had a 5-month-old daughter. Hargraves was a father of two. He had a 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.
A Go FundMe page set up to help the family reads, "Randy was an entrepreneur with the mindset to constantly learn and be better. He was a phenomenal friend and strived to be a great role model for anyone who may have looked up to him ... Keyshawn was a young barber who just wanted to be successful, sustainable and a good father ... Randy and Keyshawn lost their lives while on a job trying to provide for their families."
Hargraves's mother, Tynecca Hart, described her son as "outgoing" and "very friendly."
"He was excited to go to Charlotte," she described. "He said, 'Mom, I won't be back until Saturday. We are going on a party bus trip, and tonight, we are going to Charlotte.'"
The shooting suspect, whose name hasn't been released, was hospitalized in stable condition. A full list of criminal charges has not been released yet.
"I didn't know the guy, and from what the owner said, nobody knew the guy. All I know is that they did an application to rent the party bus," said Hart.
Hart said healing won't begin until her son gets justice.
"I just want the shooter to get whatever punishment he deserves, to know that this is not OK to just kill somebody for no reason at all," she added.
The cause of the shooting is under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.