A 14-year-old Nevada boy is dead and police say his father is to blame.
According to KSNV, Giovanni Melton was fatally shot Thursday in a Henderson apartment his family said he lived in alone despite being a minor.
Police believe the victim’s father, Wendell Melton, 53, shot his son. Sources close to the teen say he had been abused by his father in the past.
KSNV cited one individual who said the father and son had been arguing prior to the shooting over the younger Melton’s sexual orientation.
Sonja Jones, one of Giovanni Melton’s former foster parents, said the victim’s father “hated the fact that his son was gay.”
Based on what she has heard in the days since the shooting, Jones said she believes the suspect caught his son with another boy “and pulled out a gun on him.”
Wendell Melton reportedly told police he stopped by his son’s apartment after learning the high school student skipped class. The argument got heated, he claimed, and the loaded gun he pulled out during the altercation accidentally discharged and shot his son in the chest.
Regardless of his motive, records confirmed he should not have legally had access to a firearm given his prior conviction for domestic battery, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Police arrested him at the scene on suspicion of murder and child abuse.
Jones maintains her assertion that the suspect killed his son because he was gay.
“I’m sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son,” she said.
She said she hopes the decision haunts Wendell Melton for the rest of his life.
“I hope they throw the book at him,” Jones said. “I hope he never sees the light of day. I hope every day when he looks in the mirror, he sees his son’s face.”
[Featured image: Henderson Police Department]