A 26-year-old woman in Nashville, Tennessee has been charged with attempted murder on Monday after she allegedly shot a homeless man who had asked her to move her idling Porsche SUV, according to The Tennessean—though her attorney father claims she acted in self defense.
Local police say Katie Quackenbush and a friend had pulled over on a side street just off Nashville's Music Row at around 3 a.m. on August 26, stopping next to the patch of sidewalk where 54-year-old Gerald Melton was "trying to sleep." Disturbed by the loud music and exhaust fumes emanating from the Porsche, Melton got up and asked Quackenbush to move. An argument ensued—and that's where their stories diverge.
According to police, Melton eventually backed off and returned to his spot, at which point Quackenbush exited the Porsche (no word on whether it was a Macan or Cayenne) with a gun and fired two shots, one of which struck Melton in the abdomen. She then allegedly drove off, leaving him bleeding in the street. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Jesse Quackenbush, a Texas-based defense attorney and Katie's father, issued statements to several news outlets with a different version of the incident. He told The Tennessean his daughter was driving her friend back to the woman's car when they pulled over and witnessed Melton harassing a group of young women nearby. He claims Melton then walked up to the window of the Porsche and threatened the two women with "explicit and sexist" remarks.
When he left, Quackenbush says his daughter then loaded her pistol as a precaution and got out to walk her friend to her car. He alleges Melton approached the women again, at which point Katie squeezed off two "warning shots" into the darkness, apparently failing to notice one hit him. They decided to come back later for her friend's car, spending some time at a nearby restaurant before returning to find police processing the scene.
"She did say she closed her eyes when she shot both times, but they were warnings, and she thought she pointed away from him,” he said, according to The Tennessean.
However, he told News Channel 5 a slightly different tale, claiming they fled the scene because Melton kept coming towards them after his daughter fired both shots. Quackenbush, a single mother of a six-year-old boy and something of an amateur country singer (see below) and promoter, later turned herself in. She's currently out on bond.
"She's a victim in this more so than Mr. Melton. If anything he's the one that should've stayed laying down on the ground and stayed away from young women that night," Quackenbush said.
Melton was at one point an aspiring musician as well, reports WSMV, but fell on hard times and spent at least the last several years homeless. He was most recently living in a parking lot behind All Good Factory, an artist management company that counts people like Ben Folds as clients. Sharon Corbitt-House, a partner at the firm, eventually learned of his secret talent and recorded this video of him playing guitar and singing in late 2016.
“I had no clue that he was as talented as he was," she told WSMV.