A 37-year-old woman who spent most of her life in the Spokane area was killed in Las Vegas last week in what police suspect is a case of road rage.
Kamiah Bird, a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, died shortly after midnight on Sept. 18.
Las Vegas police said she was driving home from her job as a card dealer at the Plaza Hotel & Casino when her car crashed into another vehicle in the southbound lanes of Interstate 15.
Police initially believed Bird died in the collision after experiencing a medical episode, but several hours later the county coroner arrived and discovered she had been shot, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Authorities believe she was shot shortly before the crash and are searching for her killer.
“We are not ruling out anything, but we are still actively pursuing the theory that it is a road rage incident,” Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Spencer told the Review-Journal.
The driver of the vehicle Bird hit was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, the Review-Journal reported. That driver was not involved in the shooting.
Friends of Bird told the newspaper she enjoyed traveling and moved to Las Vegas several years ago for a “fresh start” in life.
In a statement to several news outlets, Bird’s family asked for privacy as they grieve her death.
“Kamiah was not only beautiful but fiercely independent,” her family said. “Kamiah was a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians and we will be honoring her journey traditionally. Thank you for all the prayers.”
Carol Evans, chairwoman of the Spokane Tribal Business Council, said Bird’s death is “heartbreaking for the tribe and the tribal members and especially the family.”
“We’re very close,” Evans said, “so when a family experiences a loss tragic like this, our hearts always go out to them.”
Emma Epperly contributed to this report.
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