The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that they had arrested a lady suspected of shooting and killing their Florida neighbor after a quarrel involving the deceased mother’s children. The sheriff’s office released a statement saying they had arrested 58-year-old Susan Louise Lorincz on charges including manslaughter by firearm, culpable negligence, violence, and two counts of assault.
The sheriff’s office in Ocala claims that on Friday night, Lorincz, who is white, shot and killed Ajike “AJ” Owens, who is Black, through a locked door. Owens family civil rights attorney Ben Crump and others have called for an arrest and addressed issues of race and Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense statute.
“While we are relieved that the woman apparently responsible for the tragic killing of Ajike ‘AJ’ Owens has been arrested, we are no less concerned that accountability has taken this long because archaic laws like Stand Your Ground exist,” attorneys for Owens’ family, including Crump, said in a statement Tuesday night.
The shooting occurred on a Friday night at 9 o’clock. The sheriff’s office claimed that Lorincz “engaged in an argument” with Owens’ children because of their frequent use of a neighboring field. According to the sheriff’s office, during the dispute, Lorincz hurled a roller skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son and then swung an umbrella at the boy and his siblings.
Authorities are under intense pressure to arrest and charge a white woman who killed a Black neighbor on her front doorstep in a case that has put Florida’s divisive stand your ground law back into the spotlight. https://t.co/j08yZVvMbd
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 7, 2023
The sheriff’s office reported that after Owens knocked on Lorincz’s door many times, Lorincz shot her through the door. According to the report, Owens was fatally shot in the upper chest. The sheriff’s office stated in a statement that Lorincz informed detectives that she acted in self-defense and that Owens had been trying to break down her door before she fired her gun.
According to Sheriff Billy Woods, before making an arrest, authorities must determine whether the “stand your ground” rule in Florida applies. According to Woods, the state’s self-defense legislation does not permit the killing of Owens. “It was simply a killing,” he said.
During an interview on Tuesday morning, Crump stated emphatically that the murder had no plausible justification. “No way she should feel that this person knocking on the door would be able to cause death to her or imminent bodily harm,” Crump said. “And if she did feel fear, call the police. Why shoot through a metal door?”
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Family lawyers have confirmed that Owens was the mother of four children. A single shot was fired through the door by Lorincz, according to the sheriff’s department. According to Crump, the children of Owens were playing in a field outside an apartment complex when the shooter approached and yelled at them. He claims that one of the kids dropped an iPad and the woman stole it.
At the location, deputies were notified that a lady who was being described as a suspect had stolen an iPad, according to a sheriff’s incident report with the names blacked out. According to an incident report from the sheriff’s office, deputies were dispatched to the scene of a trespassing complaint that evening and found Owens laying in the grass, unresponsive after being shot.
The sheriff claims the two women had a history of fighting. According to the sheriff’s office, manslaughter by firearm carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail. On Tuesday night, it was unclear if Lorincz had an attorney who could represent her. It is located around 60 miles northwest of Orlando, and has a population of about 63,000.
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