Neighbor describes dark argument before Henderson teen's shooting death

Booking photo of Wendell Melton. (Courtesy: Henderson police)

Thursday morning neighbors in a quiet Henderson community woke up to angry screams.

"I heard anger and rage, and an argument that was so dark it just sounded like a roaring lion," the neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous said.

"The fury that came out of the voice it was nothing like I'd ever heard in an argument, then there was a shot, there was a blast, and I knew it was a gunshot and it was silent," the neighbor said.

The neighbor described the gunshot that killed 14-year-old Giovanni Melton. Henderson police said the teen was shot by his father after an argument.

Wendell Melton, 53, was arrested Thursday for murder, child abuse and prohibited possession of a firearm.

According to the arrest report for Wendell, he rented an apartment at 950 Seven Hills Drive for his son, Giovanni, to live in alone because he did not get along with his current wife. Wendell said he only stayed overnight in the apartment with Giovanni six to seven times total. Giovanni lived in the apartment since March.

[READ MORE: Henderson father arrested for shooting, killing teen son]

Wendell went to the apartment to check on Giovanni because he did not show up to school, the report stated. Wendell said he brought a handgun with him to the apartment because he is afraid of the people Giovanni hung out with. Wendell told police they got into an argument about the teen smoking weed and skipping school.

The police report stated, "according to Wendell, Giovanni attacked him. Wendell stated his finger was in the trigger guard of the handgun and it accidentally went off shooting Giovanni one time in the chest."

The neighbor said she doesn't believe it was an accident.

"I do believe that it was premeditated because he came here with a gun, and when you bring a gun to a fight, you're expecting to use it," she said.

She also said she thinks the argument started over the teen's sexuality because she's heard the two argue about it before.

"He (Giovanni) would be arguing with somebody about his sexuality, and his father would come there and kick all of his friends out," she said.

"I have reason to believe that it was about him being gay," she added.

Giovanni's mother didn't want to talk on camera, but she said the fight was about Wendell wanting their son to move out of the apartment he pays for, not his sexuality.

Police said Wendell's version of the what happened changed multiple times and evidence contradicted what he said.

Police said Wendell pulled out a gun when he was not in physical fear of his life and killed his son.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Digital Content Manager