Woman Charged With Attempted Murder of Homeless Man, Father Says She Was Threatened
A Nashville, Tennessee, woman was charged with attempted murder and is accused of shooting a homeless man who asked her to move her Porsche SUV.
Katie Quackenbush, 26, shot Gerald Melton, 54, on Aug. 26 at around 3 a.m., according to police. Melton was apparently angry over the car’s fumes and loud music—as he was trying to sleep on the sidewalk.
Then Quackenbush got out of the car with a gun, firing two shots at Melton. The suspect then fled the scene in her Porsche.
Melton “was critically wounded and remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” said police. ” He suffered a critical abdominal wound,” the release stated.
She was booked into jail at 6 p.m. and her bond was set for $25,000.
Father says she acted in self-defense
Her father, Jesse Quackenbush, provided a different story, saying that the homeless man threatened her. Jesse said that his daughter and a friend were accosted by Melton after he approached the Porsche as the women sat inside.
He claims Melton made explicit and sexist comments to them and threatened to kill her, according to The Tennessean.
“She didn’t try and kill this guy,” Jesse Quackenbush told the newspaper. “She had no intention of killing him. She didn’t know that she hit him.”
Katie Quackenbush, who is a single mother to a 5-year-old boy, was driving a friend back to her car when they saw Melton harassing other women, Jesse claimed.
“He comes up to their window and starts screaming in their window various threats, and something about turning their music down and that he couldn’t sleep,” Jesse said.
After the man walked away, Katie then escorted her friend to a vehicle parked nearby. She grabbed her gun and put a magazine inside of it.
Melton then walked toward Katie. She told him she had a gun, Jesse said.
Katie then fired two “warning shots” before leaving because Melton kept approaching her, the father said.
“She did say she closed her eyes when she shot both times, but they were warnings, and she thought she pointed away from him,” Jesse said.
“She has a son,” Jesse Quackenbush said, adding that his daughter cooperated with police. “She’s never done anything like this in her life. She had an eyewitness in the front seat.”
In a statement to WTVF, he explained further:
“The two women were actually acting in self defense. The man was always on his feet and not asleep as someone apparently has alleged and had accosted a group of very young women and nearly became physical with one. He then approached the white Porsche (not Lexis) with two female occupants and started verbally accosting them threatening them because their music was too loud for him to sleep…
“The driver fired a round as a warning to scare him away as he came at her. He kept coming and she fired a second round, again intended to scare him away. They quickly got back into the white vehicle and left, not knowing that the man was hit by the warning shots. Both girls contacted the police and DA shortly after the incident and have always agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation.”