NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 26-year-old woman accused of shooting a homeless man last month is now out on bond.
Katie Quackenbush faces attempted murder charges for the Aug. 26 shooting near Music Row.
Police said the victim, Gerald Melton, was trying to sleep on the sidewalk about 3 a.m. when he was disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from a Porsche SUV.
Melton told police he asked the driver of the Porsche, believed to have been Quackenbush, to move the SUV. Police said an argument between the two ensued, with both parties yelling at each other.
Melton said he walked back to where he was trying to sleep when Quackenbush got out of the SUV armed, and as the argument continued, fired two shots at him.
Quackenbush’s father Jesse told News 2 that story isn’t true. He says his daughter fired the gun as a warning after she was threatened by the man more than once. He described the threats as racially motivated attacks on his daughter.
“This man comes up again and he’s calling her a (explicit), threatening to kill her, tear out her heart, all of these horrible things and she tells him, ‘I have a gun. Stay away from me. I have a gun. ‘Stay away from me,’” Jesse Quakenbush recalls.
The father continued, “He came at her still threatening, still screaming, still threatening he’s going to kill her and she pulled a round off as a means of warning, only to keep him away, thinking if he hears a gunshot he will get scared and he will leave her alone. He didn’t. He kept coming and she shot a second time, intending for it to be a warning for him to stay away. She did not intend to hit him, let alone kill him.”
Her father says Quakenbush then sped away as Melton was still coming toward them. The women went to get some food and came back hours later to a crime scene, unaware that it had anything to do with her actions.
Jesse Quackenbush added that his daughter voluntarily turned herself in to police, and she has an eyewitness that was in the front seat at the time.
The 54-year-old was critically injured and remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He declined to do an interview.
Quackenbush is originally from Texas. Her father says she is a single mom to a 6-year-old, trying to make it as a musician.
News 2 looked into her criminal history. She was arrested in 2013 in Texas for assault on her mother. Her father says those charges have been dropped.
We spoke with someone who owns a business near where the incident happened. He told News 2 Melton constantly threatens people in that area, so much so that the business owner started carrying a gun for protection.
News 2 also reached out to Metro police to ask if Quackenbush has a carry permit. A spokeswoman stated, “Unknown. She doesn’t show up in our state database which is how I can check.”
Melton has been arrested several times for criminal trespassing in Davidson County.