By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) - A road-rage incident that led to the killing of a Las Vegas woman began when her 15-year-old daughter honked at a speeding car, touching off an angry confrontation and armed pursuit between the two vehicles, police say.
The latest account by police of the moments leading up to the death of Tammy Meyers paints a frightening picture of a running altercation between the suburban mom and her unknown assailant, who remains at large.
Meyers, 44, was struck by a bullet to the head at around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night as the suspect and her son exchanged gunfire on a street outside her home. The mother of four died two days later after being taken off life support.
"I would never say that anybody went looking for trouble and unfortunately I can't ask Tammy what was in her mind at time of her actions," Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lieutenant Ray Steiber told reporters on Tuesday in describing the encounter.
"What I can say is this: At this point in time Tammy is a victim. This family right now is in mourning. They are very distraught over what has occurred," he said.
Steiber said Meyers was on her way home from a school parking lot where she had been teaching her 15-year-old daughter to drive when a car sped up behind them, then alongside, prompting the teenage girl to reach over from the passenger side and honk the horn.
"She was getting a driving lesson, so she figured this person was speeding and they needed to be corrected. Right or wrong she beeped the horn," he said.
The other driver, described only as a white man in his 20s or early 30s, got out of his car and began yelling at Meyers and her daughter, according to police.
Meyers sped away and drove home, where her daughter got out of the car and her son got in, carrying a loaded handgun, Steiber said.
Mother and son drove through the neighborhood in search of the other car and driver but, after failing to find them, returned home, only to have the suspect vehicle arrive and open fire on them.
Meyers' son returned fire, Steiber said, and discovered that his mother had been shot as the suspect vehicle fled.
No suspects have been identified in the attack, although police have released a composite sketch of the man who confronted Meyers and her daughter.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco)