Father Of Att. Homicide Suspect Claims Shooting Was In Self Defense

Posted at 7:12 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 20:13:05-04

The father of a woman accused of trying to kill a homeless man two weeks ago said her actions were in self defense. 

Katie Quackenbush, 26, was arrested and bonded out on Monday for an August 26th incident. Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said Gerald Melton, 54, was trying to sleep on the sidewalk when he became disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from Katie's vehicle.

Woman Charged With Attempted Murder Of Homeless Man

The two got into an argument when he asked her to move her Porsche SUV. She is accused of getting into the vehicle to obtain a gun and fired two shots at Melton during the argument. 

Police said she sped off and were later notified about her involvement in the first part of the week. 

Her gun was obtained by police about a week later. 

"There's a big power imbalance between the players in this situation. There is an excessive use of force in violence with the gun, so anytime there is an excessive use of force, people who abuse their power need to be held accountable," Homeless Advocate Lindsey Krinks of Open Table Nashville told NewsChannel 5.

Katie was arrested and posted her $25,000 bond on Monday.

"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," Katie's father and Texas attorney Jesse Quackenbush said on the phone.

Her father said that she fired shots in self defense. Katie had planned to escort her friend to her vehicle but quickly noticed Melton was being verbally abusive to a group of young women, according to Jesse. 

"He then comes to their car banging on their window screaming at them profanities and threatening
to kill her unless she turned her music down," Quackenbush added.

He said that she was going to escort her friend to her car and warned Melton to stay back.

"He came at her again and she shot what felt like a warning shot," he said.

After a second shot, "he still kept coming forward, she jumped in the driver side and sped away because she was afraid for her life."

She and her friend drove away thinking Melton was still coming for her but did not realize Melton was struck.

He added that she and her attorney notified authorities within 48 hours. 

Quackenbash has a pending case for a class A misdemeanor on an alleged assault case in Potter County, Texas in December 2016. 

She was previously charged with Assault Causes Bodily Injury, Family Violence in Randall County, Texas but according to court documents, was dismissed in April 2014.

Nearby employees told NewsChannel 5 that Melton has had a threatening demeanor before.

He's been arrested several times for Criminal Trespassing. 

He remained at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in stable condition.