Wendell Melton, a Henderson, Nevada man, shot and killed his son Giovanni after an argument about the boy's sexual orientation.
According to News3LV, Melton killed the teen in the apartment where family members say Giovanni stayed by himself.
"Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years," said Sonja Jones, Giovanni's former foster mom. "He hated the fact that his son was gay. I'm sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son."
Wendell works for United Airlines and was employed as a pilot.
"I'm hearing his dad had caught him with his boyfriend before and pulled out a gun on him," said Jones, who noted that his father had pulled a gun on him in a similar incident before this. "I hope they throw the book at him. I hope he never sees the light of day. I hope every day when he looks in the mirror, he sees his son's face."
"It’s just sad. I don't really know what else to say. He was young and he had a lot to live for," said Coronado High School Senior Bailey Schultz. Giovanni was described as "energetic" by classmates, with many saying he brought "smiles to everyone he met."
It is unclear what specific charges Melton will face or if he will be prosecuted on hate crime charges. He is due at a Henderson court early next week.
Hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals have been on the rise in the year 2017. In August, statistics showed that 2017 had outpaced 2016 in deaths of sexual minoroties.
[Photo: Twitter @AntonioNews3LV]
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