LAS VEGAS (WRIC) — An arrest report for a Nevada man who is accused of killing his son shows that the shooting may have escalated from an argument over the son’s truancy and his sexual orientation.
ABC Affiliate KTNV reports that Wendell Melton had been renting an apartment for his 14-year-old son Giovanni because of disagreements between his son and his new wife.
Court documents show Wendell said his son had been living separately since March of this year.
He allegedly went to check on his son the day of the shooting after learning that he had not shown up for school. The two argued and Wendell says Giovanni pushed him to the ground. Wendell made no mention of a disagreement over his son’s sexuality.
Wendell said he brought a gun with because he felt afraid of the people his son had been spending time with. Wendell told police that after he got up, he warned his son to stay back, but his son stepped toward him in an alleged attack.
Wendell said his finger was on the trigger, but he did not mean to pull it.
Police said that there are inconsistencies between Wendell’s story and the evidence at the scene and that his story has changed several times since he was first arrested.
Police said they believe Wendell pulled the gun before he believed himself to be in danger.
A woman who says she was like a foster mother to Giovanni and his brother said that she took care of them when they were kicked out of their father’s house. She said that Wendell did not like that his son was gay.
Sonja Jones told police that Wendell once pulled a gun on the teen after he found him with a boyfriend.
Jones told police that the boys’ mother has not been involved with them for a long time.
She has since helped Giovanni’s brother launch a Go Fund Me page to help him pay for funeral expenses.
School officials at Clark County School District say Giovanni was a freshman at Coronado High School.
Neighbors, meanwhile, say that the teen spent a lot of time alone, without parental supervision. They said they often saw other teenagers entering and leaving the apartment. However, they say they rarely saw Wendell around.
Neighbors also said that Giovanni was well-known around the community because he would often ask neighbors for food and money.
Giovanni was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds Thursday where he later died.
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“To say that guns don’t contribute to that problem is naive and we continue to have problems where 17 children at a high school die.