Who is Las Vegas shooting suspect Erich Nowsch?

Posted at 3:07 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 17:07:47-05

By Greg Botelho


(CNN) — The photo shows a young man, his hair short and his eyes looking at the ground as he walks out of a car. The only thing he’s wearing above the waist is a necklace — unless you count his tattoos and the handcuffs behind his back.

This is Erich Nowsch.

Most of America first saw his face and learned his name Thursday, when Las Vegas police announced the 19-year-old’s arrest in connection to what they called a road rage incident February 12 that ended with a mother of four mortally wounded by a gunshot.

But at least for a brief period two years ago, Nowsch seemingly had no qualms about putting himself out there on social media.

The profile photo on what appears to be his Facebook page, last updated in January 2013, shows him with his tongue wagging, his hand tattooed, with a ballcap on his head and thick chain around his neck. He’s holding what appears to be a wad of cash, including at least one $100 bill.

Nowsch’s apparent Intagram profile is from around the same time; the last posts were in March 2013. It has a clear theme, though, with the majority of pictures showing marijuana in its various forms and some of the teenager seemingly smoking it.

The header for that page? Moblife18.

It’s not clear how any of his past led to Nowsch’s arrest Thursday, one week after his neighbor Tammy Meyers was shot. It could have nothing to do with it; authorities have not pinpointed a motive or state of mind in the alleged road rage incident and shooting, or during Nowsch’s later short-lived standoff with police.

Still, Meyers’ husband, Robert, said that he and others knew about Nowsch before this happened, and what they knew wasn’t good.

“We knew how bad he was,” Robert Meyers told reporters. “But we didn’t know it was this bad.”

Husband: Victim was ‘really good’ to Nowsch

Erich Nowsch spent Friday in the Clark County Detention Center on charges of murder, attempted murder and discharging a gun from a vehicle in a prohibited area. He’s set to have his first day in court on Monday.

It was unclear Thursday night whether Nowsch had an attorney; court documents detailing his charges didn’t list a lawyer.

And his distraught mother wasn’t talking, turning away reporters.

Police are looking for another suspect. But they believe it was Nowsch who shot Tammy Meyers soon after she’d gotten out of her car outside her Las Vegas home, about a block from his own home.

Authorities believe the shooting stemmed from an earlier encounter with a man who they say drove sped past her as she was returning home after giving her 15-year-old daughter a driving lesson. The daughter honked the horn, prompting the car to stop. A man got out of the car and confronted them.

Robert Meyers told HLN’s Nancy Grace that the man threatened to kill his wife and daughter.

Tammy Meyers returned home, dropped off her daughter and picked up her 22-year-old son, who was armed. The mother and son then drove away and tracked down a man thought to be Nowsch, only to lose sight of him.

Soon after, a car showed up in the Meyers’ cul-de-sac. The family has said there were three people in the car.

Gunfire broke out. The son told police that he and his mother were fired upon, and he shot back.

Tammy Meyers was shot once in the head. She died two days later, on Valentine’s Day. She was 44 years old.

That was the extent of what authorities knew about the back-and-forth between Nowsch and Tammy Meyers until Thursday, according to Las Vegas police Capt. Chris Tomaino.

It was then that Robert Meyers first told reporters that Nowsch and his wife had known each other for some time.

His wife had spent “countless hours at the park consoling this boy,” he said. “She was really good to him. She fed him, she gave him money.

“She told him to pull his pants up and to be a man,” Robert Meyers added. “More times than I can count.”

CNN’s Sara Sidner, Steve Almasy, Amanda Watts and AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report.

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