Katie Quackenbush
Katie Quackenbush, 26, is accused of attempted murder of a homeless man. Metro Nashville Police Department

An American woman has been charged with attempted murder after shooting a homeless man who allegedly asked her to move her Porsche. Katie Quackenbush from Nashville, Tennessee, critically wounded 54-year-old Gerald Melton by shooting him twice and fleeing from the scene.

According to the investigation led by Detective Anthony Chandler, Melton was trying to sleep on the sidewalk at 3 a.m. on Aug. 26 when he was interrupted by the exhaust fumes and loud music coming from a Porsche SUV. He asked the driver of the vehicle, alleged to be Quackenbush, to move her car. However, the 26-year-old aspiring country singer apparently did not agree, and the two parties ended up yelling at each other.

Melton said he returned to his original place to sleep. Quackenbush, he recalled, got out of the Porsche with a gun. The two continued with their argument, then Quackenbush fired two shots at him. She got back into her vehicle and fled.

He was critically wounded from the shot. He is being treated at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center for abdominal wound.

Quackenbush was arrested on Monday and later released after posting US$25,000 (AU$31,125) bail. She is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 6. According to court records, a female passenger was with Quackenbush at the time of the incident. She has not been named and charged.

Quackenbush’s lawyer father, Jesse Quackenbush, claimed she was falsely charged as she had only been defending herself. Melton allegedly threatened to kill her and the female passenger and made explicit and sexist remarks at them. Quackenbush then grabbed her gun and got out of her vehicle to escort her friend to her car.

Melton apparently followed them. Quackenbush then told him she had a gun and fired two “warning shots” before leaving. Jesse said his daughter shot Melton with her eyes closed and pointed away from him, therefore, she did not know if she had hit him. There was allegedly also no indication Melton was injured, Jesse said when asked whether Quackenbush heard Melton screamed after being shot.

“She didn’t try and kill this guy,” he said of her daughter, a single mother of a 5-year-old boy. “She had no intention of killing him. She didn’t know that she hit him.”

Metro police spokesman Don Aaron told the Tennessean that Quackenbush and her friend did not report the incident to the police. A third party who found Melton with gunshot wounds called for help. The police also did not hear from the suspect until after her attorney, Peter Strianse, contacted the district’s attorney’s office after a week.

When asked if the detectives believed the suspect’s father’s claim that Melton had threatened to kill her, Aaron said they don’t believe Melton had kept Quackenbush from leaving in her SUV. Strianse, meanwhile, claimed that a local attorney contacted him to say he had surveillance footage of the Aug. 26 incident. The lawyer hadn’t seen the video himself.

Quackenbush was twice arrested previously for assault charges

Quackenbush, who goes by the name Katie Layne as a singer, has no prior criminal convictions. However, she was arrested twice on separate occasions, both for assault charges in Texas state.

She was arrested by Amarillo Police Department in October 2013 on a misdemeanour domestic violence-related assault charge and was released a day later after posting a US$5,000 (AU$6,225) bond, Heavy.com notes. The case, which stemmed from an incident she had with her mother, was dismissed by the district attorney in April the following year.

Quackenbush was also arrested in December 2016 for misdemeanour assault. She was accused of hitting a woman with a drinking glass. The woman was her ex-husband’s girlfriend, who, according to Quackenbush’s father, “made some insulting remarks.” The case is still pending.