Dozens of students from Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada held a candle lighting Nov. 5 to remember their former classmate Giovanni Melton. The students tried to make sense of the fact that his own father who gave him life, was the one to take it away.
Nevada father, Wendell Melton, 53, faces murder charges after shooting and killing his 14-year-old son according to authorities. Friends of the victim say that the father may have targeted his son because he was gay.
According to the Henderson police report, Wendell rented an apartment for his son because his son and new wife did not get along. Giovanni Melton lived in the apartment by himself since March.
His father visited the apartment to check on him because he did not show up for school that day. The two got into an argument and Giovanni reportedly pushed his father to the floor. Wendell claims that when he got up, he warned his son to stay back; however, he proceeded to attack him.
That is when Wendell shot his son. Police say Wendell’s side of the story changed multiple times and he fibbed about where he got the gun from. Considering the fact that he has a previous criminal record.
According to abc7chicago.com, 13 Action News spoke with the woman claiming to be Giovanni’s foster mom. She said Giovanni’s biological mother has been out of the picture for quite some time and that his father did not like the fact he was gay.
There was a previous incident where Wendell walked in on his son with his boyfriend. “He kept that more to himself, but still you would have never been able to pick up on it because he was just always happy and he made the best out of what he had, that’s for sure,” Mia Hayward said, according to abc7chicago.
Neighbors reported that Giovanni would often ask for food and money. Sonja Jones, who claims to be the victim’s foster mother, said that the boy’s mother has not been a part of their lives for some time.
However, she has started a Go Fund Me account to help Giovanni’s older brother with funeral expenses.
There have been several cases around the United States similar to this one. There should be some kind of awareness for young adults that are part of the LGBTQ community. Teens that come out usually do not have anyone to talk to in fear of what their parents might say.
Cases like this are most likely the reason they are afraid or ashamed to come out. They dread their family disowning them or in this case, being killed. Family should be people that you can always talk to about anything without judgement.
More attention should be shone on this issue. It is becoming a reoccurring problem. According to Forensic Science International, the amount of filicide cases in infants, juveniles and adolescents are increasing. It is time to raise awareness.
Email Tamiyha Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org