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Giovanni Melton was an energetic teenager who made everyone he met happy, his friends remember. Police detectives say the 14-year-old boy was shot and killed by his own father on Thursday, Nov. 2. Loved ones close to the murder victim, including his former foster mother, are alleging the argument leading to the teen’s shooting was about the teen’s sexual orientation.
Giovanni Melton was a student at Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada. Senior Bailey Schultz says Melton went to her school: “It’s just sad. He was young and he had a lot to live for.”
On Thursday afternoon, Henderson police say 53-year-old Wendell Melton, a former United Airlines pilot, pulled the trigger of one of the six guns he kept in the house, where family members say Giovanni stayed by himself.
“Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years,” Sonja Jones, Giovanni’s former foster mom, revealed to News 3.
Jones says she was told by another family member that part of the argument that led to the deadly shooting was over Giovanni’s sexual orientation. Jones says Wendell Melton had problems with his son being gay.
“He hated the fact that his son was gay,” said Jones. “I’m sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.”
“I’m hearing his dad had caught him with his boyfriend before and pulled out a gun on him,” said Jones. “I hope they throw the book at him. I hope he never sees the light of day,” said Jones. “I hope every day when he looks in the mirror, he sees his son’s face.”
One student said they shared stories about him in school. “We talked about our favorite things about him. One word to describe him; how he made us feel. How we were feeling,” said the student. “I said that he was selfless.”