LAS VEGAS (AP) — The teenage neighbor arrested in what has been described as the road-rage slaying of a Las Vegas mother boasted about the shooting and told friends that he emptied several clips from his semi-automatic handgun during the gunbattle, according to a police report released Friday.
The documents depict a fierce shootout last week involving 19-year-old Erich Milton Nowsch Jr., victim Tammy Meyers and her 22-year-old son.
Police said Nowsch bragged of firing more than 22 shots at them that night — first, a few blocks from their home, then in the cul-de-sac outside their house.
According to investigators, Nowsch portrayed the Meyers family as the aggressors, saying he saw someone in their car waving a gun out the window at him.
“Got those kids. They were after me, and I got them,” he was quoted as telling friends.
Nowsch remained jailed Friday on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and firing a gun from a vehicle. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.
Authorities continued to search for a second suspect, apparently the driver of the car in which Nowsch was said to be riding.
The case has been marked by conflicting and incomplete accounts from police and the Meyers family, giving rise to suspicions that it was not necessarily the random road-rage shooting it appeared to be at first.
“This has all the earmarks of something that is not road rage,” said Los Angeles defense attorney Mark Geragos, who is not involved in the case. “There is a whole lot more to this that we just don’t know.”
According to authorities, Meyers, 44, was out with her 15-year-old daughter on the night of Feb. 12, giving her driving lessons, when a car sped past them. The daughter honked, and the vehicle stopped, police said.
Someone got out and warned Meyers: “I’m gonna come back for you and your daughter,” according to the police report.
Police said the mother then sped home, dropped off her daughter and roused her son, Brandon, from bed. Brandon wanted to call 911, but his mother told him to get in the car or she was going to go looking for the suspects alone, so he grabbed his 9 mm handgun and went along, police said.
The two found the vehicle and began following it when a passenger in the car opened fire on them, according to the report. Brandon Meyers told police that he and his mother fled back to their home, but the other car reappeared, and the shooting resumed. He said he fired three shots back.
According to the report, Nowsch told friends the gunbattle began after he saw someone in a green car in a school parking lot waving a gun at him.
He said he opened fire from the passenger seat with a .45-caliber handgun, then followed the vehicle into a cul-de-sac, reloaded and fired 22 more shots outside the Meyers home, according to the report.
It wasn’t immediately clear how authorities came to suspect Nowsch in the shooting, but the police report said he was questioned five days later while being held in juvenile custody on unrelated charges.
It turns out he and the Meyerses were neighbors who lived a block apart. Robert Meyers, the victim’s husband, said his wife had taken a motherly interest in Nowsch following the suicide of his father five years ago, giving him food and money and telling him to “pull his pants up and be a man.”
Neighbor Melissa Mour said she talked with Nowsch the day after the shooting and asked him about the screeching tires and gunfire she heard the night before.
“He was like, ‘Whoever did this is going to pay for it. I’ve known that family a long time,’” Mour said. “The way he spoke that day, it was like he liked them. It was like he was upset at whoever did it.”