When Daniel Cox heard the bang of gunfire Saturday night, he ran outside his home on West Country Club Circle and saw his neighbors' front door was wide open.
What he didn't know was one of the women inside was dead from a gunshot wound to the face, and the other would be charged in her slaying.
Michele McCann, 57, was screaming from inside to call 911, Cox said. When officers arrived at about 10:50 p.m., McCann told them that her partner, Jeanine Luciano, 59, had been shot and was in their bathroom.
"It took you long enough. She's dead," McCann said, according to a Plantation Police complaint affidavit.
A rifle was near the front door. Firefighters pronounced Luciano dead at the home, 1805 W. Country Club Circle, and arrested McCann. On Monday, a judge ordered her held without bond.
McCann and Luciano's relationship was good during its first decade but turbulent for the past 20 years, said the dead woman's mother, Joan Luciano, 84, of Pompano Beach.
Before police got to the home Saturday night, McCann called Joan Luciano and told her: "'I just shot your daughter, she's dead and it's your fault. Are you happy now?'" Plantation police said in their report.
There was no record of domestic violence calls to the couple's home, the agency said.
The mother said there had been so much acrimony between herself and McCann that she was surprised when her daughter called about 6 p.m. Saturday, saying McCann wanted to be friends and wished to visit.
"And I said, 'Don't ever bring her over,'" Joan Luciano said. "Who would ever dream she had a gun?"
She said she had hoped her daughter would find someone with whom the family could get along.
"Her being gay never bothered me," Luciano said. "I only wanted her to be happy, and she just never seemed happy."
Jeanine Luciano was a state-licensed registered nurse who worked at SeaView Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Pompano Beach. Staffers there Monday were shocked at the news of her death.
"We are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of one of our valued nurses at SeaView," the center's parent company, Consulate Health Care, said in a statement. "Jeanine's compassion for her patients and commitment to the mission of our care center will be missed."
Domestic violence happens at a similar rate among same-sex couples as it does with heterosexual ones, and access to services can be more challenging because of the lack of recognition of a same-sex relationship in many places, said Shari Randerson, Ph.D, manager of outreach services for Women in Distress of Broward County.
"Particularly for the LGBTQ population where access to services can be more difficult, it can be a matter of life or death, and sadly, this did not end well," Randerson said.
McCann was arrested twice in Pompano Beach in 2013. Adjudication was withheld after she pleaded no contest in June to trespassing and disorderly intoxication.
She was arrested on another charge of disorderly intoxication in September. That case is still open, state records show.
Joan Luciano said the couple had separated from 2011 to 2013. McCann's arrests happened near the apartment Jeanine Luciano had rented during her time apart from McCann.
"The first year in the apartment, I think Jeanine was happy," Luciano said. "We were there for Christmas and my birthday."
Luciano called her daughter, the middle of her five children, "compassionate, and such a nice person."
Mother and daughter had both survived breast cancer. When her daughter was sick, McCann took good care of Jeanine, Joan Luciano said, though she said she was only allowed to visit the hospital when McCann was not there.
Neighbor Elise Judy said she has known McCann for more than 40 years and called the homicide allegation "a shock," because she knew that a few years ago, Luciano made McCann get rid of her guns.
Luciano's mother said she had also talked with her daughter about weapons. "Jeanine told me she got rid of the gun at a gun exchange with the police," Luciano said.
Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.
Ltrischitta@Tribune.com, 954-356-4233 or Twitter @LindaTrischitta