Woman in recovery as deputies search for suspect in I-85 shooting

According to her husband, she is paralyzed on half of her body
Heather Stevanus was injured in a road rage shooting on I-85. Deputies say shots were fired from one vehicle into another. Suspect's car is a dark-colored BMW.
Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 8:16 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2023 at 3:05 PM EST
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OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office says they’re investigating after a woman was sent to the hospital following a shooting incident on I-85 between mile markers 1 and 2.

Deputies responded to a call in reference to gunshots that were fired from one vehicle into another at around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. An adult woman and two children were inside the car when the shooting happened.

Deputies say the woman sustained injuries and the incident is being investigated as a possible road rage situation. She was transported to the hospital via helicopter and her condition is unknown at this time.

According to the woman’s husband, Branden Stevanus, his wife Heather has a long road ahead of her for recovery.

“I am informing everyone, Heather has had multiple bullet fragments and a very large portion of the bullet removed from her head. But still some are too deep to surgically remove. She is still sedated a little more responsive this morning. But is paralyzed on half of her body, just have a long road ahead to go.”

Branden Stevanus
Heather Stevanus
Heather Stevanus(Stevanus Family)

Based on further investigation, investigators believe the suspect vehicle is a dark in color, either black or navy, BMW SUV X-5 or X-6, with the model year being around 2017. Investigators said they also believe the SUV was occupied by a man who was heading towards Georgia after the shooting occurred.

Dark in color 2017 BMW X-5
Dark in color 2017 BMW X-5(Oconee County Sheriff's Office)

Officials say the investigation was turned over to the Criminal Investigations/School Safety Bureau and a crime scene technician was also been called to the scene.

Deputies say if you have any information regarding this shooting, contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

For those who want to assist the family, monetary donations are being accepted at Downtown Flowers located at 52 Doyle Street, Toccoa, GA and via Venmo: @foothills-contracting and Cashapp: $dclong9009.

A Gofundme has also been set up to help the family.