Attempted Murder On Music Row

Katie Quackenbush, an aspiring country singer in Nashville, was arrested for attempted murder for the Aug. 26 shooting of a homeless man near Music Row.

Quackenbush, who has used the stage name Katie Layne, was charged with shooting 54-year-old Gerald Melton, who remained at a hospital in critical condition at press time.

Melton was trying to sleep on the sidewalk at 3 a.m. when he became disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from Quackenbush’s Porsche SUV, according to a police report, and asked her to move the vehicle. The two argued and, after Melton returned to where he was attempting to sleep,

Katie Quackenbush
Metro Nashville Police Department via AP
– Katie Quackenbush

Quackenbush allegedly got out of the car, walked up to him, continued the argument and fired two shots at him, then left the scene, according to the report.

The incident, which garnered national attention, was disputed by Quckenbush’s father, who was not at the scene. 

“She didn’t try and kill this guy,” Jesse Quackenbush told The Tennessean. “She had no intention of killing him. She didn’t know that she hit him.”

Jesse claims Katie had driven a friend back to her car when the women saw Melton harassing other women in the street nearby, then approached one of the SUV’s windows.

“He comes up to their window and starts screaming in their window various threats, and something about turning their music down and he couldn’t sleep,” Jesse said.

After Melton walked away, Quackenbush escorted her friend to her vehicle parked nearby, taking her gun with her while putting a magazine inside, when Melton approached again, according to Jesse Quackenbush.

Jesse said his daughter told Melton she had a gun then fired two “warning shots.”

“She did say she closed her eyes when she shot both times, but they were warnings, and she thought she pointed away from him,” he told the paper.

The women then left to go to a restaurant and returned to find the friend’s car surrounded by crime scene tape, Jesse said. His daughter obtained an attorney and eventually turned herself in, he added.

“She has a son,” Jesse said. “She’s never done anything like this in her life. She had an eyewitness in the front seat.”

Katie Quackenbush has been arrested twice before, once on a domestic violence charge and another on a misdemeanor assault charge but the first was dismissed and the second is pending, according to She released a song called “Midnight Revival” on iTunes and has a SoundCloud page.

She had a Twitter profile that included explicit and nude photos to promote her music but it has not been active since 2016, Heavy noted, and now appears deleted altogether.