14-year-old Giovanni Melton was shot and killed by his own father on Thursday because of the father’s homophobia.
Melton lived in Las Vegas, Nevada and was considered selfless and charismatic by his friends.
What they may not have known was the Giovanni lived mostly with just his older brother in a condo.
His mother had abandoned them according to court records, Meanwhile, the father, Wendell, had already allegedly abused them and faced charges involving illegal firearms.
“Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years,” said Sonja Jones, the boys’ former foster mother, to Las Vegas 3 News.
“He hated the fact that his son was gay,” she said. “I’m sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.”
Jones also added that the brothers told her that the 52-year-old Wendell once pulled a gun on Giovanni after finding him with another boy.
And it seemed that tension between the two only escalated to a deadly scene as Wendell later called the police this past Thursday and when first responders arrived they found Giovanni shot. He died later that day.
Wendell has since been arrested and is charged with murder, child abuse, and prohibited person possessing a firearm.
“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.”
Jones has also started a GoFundMe page to help Giovanni’s older brother pay for funeral expenses.