Police have made an arrest in the road rage murder of a Las Vegas mother. Police arrested a 19-year-old man on Thursday afternoon for the death of the woman, 44. Reports are that the victim knew the suspect prior to last week’s shooting.
The alleged shooter, Erich Milton Nowsch Jr., was arrested at his mother’s house just prior to 1 p.m. after a two-hour standoff with police. The house is located just one block from the scene where Tammy Meyers was killed by a gunshot to her head on Feb. 12. She was removed from life support and passed away on Valentine’s Day.
Las Vegas police had been keeping Nowsch under surveillance. After his mother contacted police, a SWAT unit was dispatched to the residence, where they proceeded to surround the home. During the standoff, a junior high school in the area was placed on lockdown.
According to Meyers’ husband, the victim had known Nowsch and had counseled him frequently, even giving him money and food on occasion. Due to that relationship, she had been able to identify Nowsch to police as the person who shot her. Robert Meyers was on the scene on Thursday, watching police as they persuaded the suspect to come out of his mother’s house. “There’s the (expletive) who killed my wife. And a block away!” he shouted to a nearby news crew covering the standoff. He accused reporters at the scene of “[making] my wife look like an animal,” saying, “There’s the animal, a block away!”
Tammy Meyers had been teaching her daughter, 15, how to drive late at night in a school parking lot located close to their home. Meyers’ daughter recounted to police that her mother had been driving her home when a man driving a silver car came up next to their car and drove beside them. The daughter said she reached in front of her mother and sounded the horn. At that point, the man stopped his car in front of theirs, exited his vehicle and approached the two angrily.
Original police reports of the incident said that Meyers had been followed home by the angry driver and killed then. As additional details were discovered by police, it became clear that this was not an accurate portrayal of events. While dropping her daughter at home, Tammy Meyers told her to go into the house and wake up her brother, Brandon. The 22-year-old took his 9mm pistol and, along with his mother, proceeded to drive around to look for Nowsch. After finding the suspect’s car, they followed him for a while and then drove back home with Nowsch following them.
Members of the Meyers family reported to police that there were three occupants inside of the suspect’s car and that one of them shot multiple times. Brandon shot back. His mother had been standing in the driveway and was struck in the head during the incident. Brandon later said that “I did what I had to do to protect my family.” He added that regardless of what people might think, he had a reason for what he did, “and I’d do it for anyone I love.”
CNN reports that Robert Meyers told them late Thursday evening that after shots were fired by the suspect, Tammy Meyers attempted to usher Brandon and other family members, who had been drawn outside by the noise, back inside of the house. She was shot in the head while protecting her family, says Robert. This version of events is different than the original scenario told to police.
The twists and turns of the case have affected public opinion as details emerge. After Tammy Meyers was taken off life support on Feb. 14 and subsequently died, an online fundraiser was started to collect donations to help pay for her funeral costs. Once police revealed that Meyers had not dropped off her daughter, but had collected her son – and his gun – in order to go back out and look for the killer, the fundraiser was pulled.
Among the charges faced by Nowsch are attempted murder, murder and firing a gun inside of a vehicle. No other charges have been filed as of yet, but Capt. Chris Tomaino of the Las Vegas Police says that there is still a lot of investigating to be done in the case. In addition, police are searching for an additional suspect in the murder.
By Jennifer Pfalz