A Florida woman has been arrested after fatally shooting her neighbor, a black mom of four, amid a long-standing feud, authorities say. The white woman’s arrest comes four days after the fatal shooting, after authorities were pressed to arrest and charge the woman. The tragic details inside…
In a tragic turn of events, a Florida woman has been apprehended after allegedly shooting and killing her neighbor as the culmination of an intense, years-long feud, as reported by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Susan Louise Lorincz, a 58-year-old white woman, now faces charges including manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault for fatally shooting Ajike “AJ” Owens, a 35-year-old Black mother of four, according to a statement by Sheriff Billy Woods.
The incident has garnered significant attention and placed Florida’s controversial stand your ground law back in the spotlight, leading to mounting pressure on authorities to take swift action against the woman who fired the fatal shot through her front door, taking Ajike’ life.
However, Sheriff Woods clarified in a Facebook video that this particular case does not fall under the stand your ground law and should be viewed as a straightforward “killing.”
Addressing the concerns of the community, the sheriff explained the legal complexities: “Now many of you were struggling to understand why there was not an immediate arrest. The laws here in the state of Florida are clear. Now I may not like them. I may not agree with them. But however, those laws I will follow.”
The sheriff’s office shared a video showcasing the arrest, with two detectives and a deputy escorting the suspect down a hallway with her hands restrained behind her back.
Watch below at the one-minute mark:
As of now, it remains unclear when the shooter will make her initial court appearance, as jail records did not list a lawyer representing her.
The tragic incident unfolded when deputies responded to a trespassing call, only to discover Ajike suffering from gunshot wounds. The neighborhood, consisting of single-story duplexes and quadruplexes, is nestled in the serene hills surrounding Ocala, renowned for its thoroughbred horse farms. It is within this working-class community that the unfortunate clash between the shooter and the victim occurred.
The shooter claimed self-defense, recounting to investigators that AJ had attempted to forcibly enter her residence before she resorted to using the firearm, as Sheriff Woods disclosed. The white woman claims AJ had previously exhibited aggressive behavior and had even launched attacks against her. However, after a thorough investigation, including eyewitness testimonies, the sheriff determined that Susan’s actions did not align with justifiable self-defense under Florida law.
On Tuesday, approximately three dozen protesters, gathered outside the Marion County Judicial Center, demanding the arrest of the shooter. State Attorney William Gladson, the chief prosecutor, met with the demonstrators and urged patience, emphasizing the need for sufficient time and evidence to build a solid case without compromising the ongoing criminal investigation.
Lauren Smith, a resident living across the street from the shooting, recounted the distressing scene she witnessed. Lauren, who was on her porch at the time, observed one of AJ’s young sons anxiously pacing and exclaiming, “They shot my mama! They shot my mama!” Jesus.
Reacting swiftly, Lauren rushed to assist, performing chest compressions until emergency responders arrived. She stated that there was no altercation and affirmed that AJ did not possess a weapon.
”She was angry all the time that the children were playing out there,” Lauren disclosed. “She would say nasty things to them. Just nasty.” Describing the neighborhood as family-friendly, Lauren, who is white, offered her perspective on the events that unfolded.
According to investigators, AJ knocked on Susan’s door to confront her after the the woman threw a pair of skates at her children, hitting at least one of them. “During this argument, Lorincz threw a roller skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son, striking the child in the toe,” according to the sheriff’s office. “After this, when the child and his 12-year-old brother went to speak to Lorincz, she opened her door and swung at them with an umbrella.”
AJ was joined by her 9-year-old son went she knocked on Susan’s door. She was shot once through the front door and later died at a hospital.
Owens’ family has insisted that her killing was unjustified.
“My daughter, my grandchildren’s mother, was shot and killed with her 9-year-old son standing next to her,” Owens’ mother, Pamela Dias told reporters. “She had no weapon, she posed no imminent threat to anyone.”
AJ’s 9-year-old son, who witnessed the shooting, blames himself that his mother is gone because he first told his mom the neighbor had confronted him and his siblings.
“In his soul, in his heart, it’s his fault that his older brother, his baby sister and his baby brother, as well as himself, will never see their mother again,” Dias said.
Watch the family’s press conference below:
Earlier, Sheriff Woods had cited the stand your ground law as an obstacle to immediate arrest unless he could substantiate that the shooting was not an act of self-defense. In the neighborhood, near the spot where AJ was tragically shot, mourners paid their respects with teddy bears and floral tributes. Meanwhile, children continued their innocent activities of biking, scootering, and playing basketball in the vicinity.
According to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Owens’ family, prior to the confrontation, Susan had directed racial slurs at the children, as stated in a late Tuesday statement. Crump, known for his representation of Trayvon Martin’s family in 2012, a case that thrust Florida’s stand your ground law into the global spotlight, highlighted concerns over the delayed arrest, suggesting that outdated laws like stand your ground still persist.
Sheriff Woods revealed that since January 2021, deputies had responded to numerous calls related to the ongoing feuds between Susan and AJ. He stated, “There was a lot of aggressiveness from both of them, back and forth, whether it be banging on the doors, banging on the walls, and threats being made. And then at that moment is when Ms. Owens was shot through the door.”
“She had a smile that would light up the room,” reads a verified GoFundMe page started by her family. “But most of all, she was known for how much she loved and absolutely lived for her four children.”
“There wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for those near and dear to her heart. She often would give to other single mothers that were in similar situations that she’d been in,” the fundraiser page said.
You can donate to the GoFundMe here.
We’re sending our condolences to AJ’s family, especially her four children, during this unimaginable time. We hope she receives justice!
Photo: Ajike Owens’ Family/Marion County Sheriff’s Office