Live

Watch CBSN Live

Family: Las Vegas road rage shooting victim knew suspect

LAS VEGAS -- The family of a woman killed in an apparent road rage shooting said they knew the suspect arrested for her death, but didn't tell police that information until Thursday.

Erich Milton Nowsch Jr. was arrested Thursday afternoon after SWAT teams surrounded his home a block away from the residence of Tammy Meyers, the woman killed. The suspect's mother owns the home and tipped off police, according to CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.

The 19-year-old Nowsch faces charges of murder, attempted murder and discharging a gun within a vehicle in connection with the Feb. 12 shooting.

road rage
Erich Milton Nowsch Jr., 19, is taken into custody in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday Feb. 19, 2015, in connection with an apparent road rage shooting that left a woman dead. Las Vegas Metro Police Department

Police are still looking for one additional suspect but authorities believe Nowsch was the lone gunman in the attack, Las Vegas police Capt. Chris Tomaino said.

"We still have a lot of investigative work to do," Tomaino said.

Also Thursday, Robert Meyers, the victim's husband, told reporters his family knew Nowsch and that his wife had been a mentor of sorts, giving the teenager money and food and urging him to dress properly.

Nevada woman killed in apparent road rage incident

"We know this boy," Robert Meyers said. "I couldn't tell you this before. He knew where I lived. We knew how bad he was but we didn't know he was this bad."

He said his wife spent countless hours "consoling this boy."

"She fed him, she gave him money, she told him to pull his pants up and be a man," Robert Meyers said.

The case has received significant attention since police initially said Meyers was killed by an angry driver who followed her home after she gave her teenage daughter a driving lesson.

She was removed from life support on Valentine's Day as police hunted for a suspect, and donations for her funeral costs quickly poured in to a fundraising site.

The sympathy morphed into skepticism after police revealed that Meyers was not followed home, and instead dropped her daughter off and picked up her 22-year-old son, armed with his 9 mm handgun, to try to confront the driver who had frightened her earlier.

They went looking for the driver, followed the vehicle and eventually went home. The silver car then showed up outside the Meyers' home and a shootout occurred. The mother was shot in the head outside the home.

Did road rage lead to the shooting death of a Las Vegas mother?

"I did what I had to do to protect my family," Brandon Meyers, 22, said earlier this week. "Everyone can think what they have to think. I did it for a reason. And I'd do it for anyone I love."

"We all make mistakes and apparently they made a mistake and the ultimate price was her life," neighbor Sean Fast told KLAS-TV on Thursday. "That's the lesson we can learn -- Just try to avoid confrontation with other people."

Melissa Mours, who lives next door to the suspect, said several people showed up at her neighbor's house this week and knocked on the door, including at least one Meyers family member.

It's still not clear if Nowsch was driving the car involved in the altercation with the family. Mours said she didn't think he had a car or drove.

Earlier, as authorities worked to coax the suspect to surrender, Robert Meyers arrived and was emotionally distraught as he tried get close to the home that police had surrounded.

As he walked past the yellow police tape, he was stopped by a police officer who tried to calm the man down.

"It's OK," the officer could be heard telling him.

"No it ain't OK!" the husband shouted back, his voice breaking up.

The officer asked the man to step back behind the yellow tape, and he stormed off past reporters.

"Are you all happy? You made my wife look like an animal," he told reporters. "There's the animal, a block away!"

View CBS News In