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Suspect in killing of transgender Bel Air woman released on GPS home monitoring, ordered to surrender firearms

Suspect in killing of Bel Air woman released on GPS home monitoring, ordered to surrender firearms
Suspect in killing of Bel Air woman released on GPS home monitoring, ordered to surrender firearms 00:34

BALTIMORE -- A man who allegedly shot and killed a Harford County woman outside of her apartment complex Wednesday evening has been released on GPS monitoring following a bail hearing, WJZ has learned.  

Related: Woman killed in Bel Air shooting was a 'loving' advocate for LGBTQ+ community, friends say

Brian Delen, 47, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and firearms charges, after killing 57-year-old Meghan Riley Lewis following an argument.    

Bel Air Police said Delen was delivering food around 6:30 p.m. to the English Country Manor neighborhood when he got into an argument with Lewis, a transgender woman.

Delen had noticed Lewis walking toward his vehicle and said something akin to "Are you waiting for a food delivery, sir," according to the charging documents.

Delen alleged that Lewis was offended by his remarks, believing that he had misgendered her, and began yelling at him, per court records.

As Delen began to drive off, Lewis followed on foot. He then stopped his vehicle and re-engaged with Lewis—that's when they got into an altercation, according to charging documents.

At that point, Delen pulled out a gun and shot Lewis in the abdomen, per court records.

Police said Lewis was found in the parking lot by responding officers. She was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Delen reportedly shot Lewis with a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, according to the charging documents.

Friends of Lewis said they were shocked by the killing of someone they knew to be loving and compassionate.

"I was totally horrified," Zosia Zaks said. "I couldn't even believe it at first."

Zaks said Lewis always put other people first. She founded a patient support group for trans individuals coming to Baltimore for life-saving surgery, and she opened her door to anyone who needed support, according to her friends.

Delen's public defender said he had a "strong self-defense argument." Delen allegedly called 911 after Lewis was shot and rendered aid using his own first aid kit, according to the public defender.

A friend of Lewis told WJZ that they saw the shooting as a hate crime.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinions, but they are not entitled to blatantly disrespect individuals, to blatantly cause violence," the friend said.

Charging documents show that Delen had a wear and carry permit. If convicted, Delen could face up to 85 years in prison. 

A local LGBTQ+ rights group told WJZ's Paul Gessler that its members are planning to hold a vigil for Lewis next week.   

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