Clinton police said the occupants of two vehicles were involved a dispute after leaving a backyard club. This led to a high speed chase, where gunshots were exchanged between the two vehicles.
One vehicle, an Acura Legend, struck a vehicle not involved in the chase, a Ford F-150. The pickup crashed into a utility pole just before 4:30 a.m. and flipped over. The Acura was stopped cold by massive damage.
Shortly after the crash, the other vehicle involved in the shootout, a white Pontiac, arrived. Then the two exchanged gunfire again, and the driver of the Pontiac fled the scene.
The two people in the F-150, Ray and Cassandra Cuvilje, of Harrells, N.C., were taken to Sampson Regional Medical Center. Ray was treated and released, while Cassandra remains in critical condition.
"They were innocent bystanders who happened to be riding down the road at the wrong spot at the wrong time when they got struck in the rear," Clinton Police Assistant Chief Jay Tilley said.
Three people inside the Acura Legend were also taken to the hospital. Two suffered gunshot wounds. A fourth person from the Acura later showed up at the hospital by himself.
Police are still searching for one person. The Pontiac has been located, but not the driver.
"We are seeking the people that were involved in the other vehicle that we have seized. We hope to have some answers in a few days," Tilley said.