Ocala, FL – The woman who fired a gun through her front door and fatally shot her neighbor during a dispute about the neighbor’s children last week has been charged with manslaughter.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods confirmed the arrest of 58-year-old Susan Louise Lorincz in a video briefing late Tuesday night.
Lorincz fatally shot her neighbor, 35-year-old Ajike “AJ” Owens, during a confrontation at Lorincz’s home on June 2, according to police.
Investigators were required by law to determine whether the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law applied in the case before any potential arrest could be made.
Sheriff Woods said detectives “worked around the clock” to answer that question.
“Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) ultimately concluded.
She was arrested on June 6 on charges of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm, battery, culpable negligence, and two counts of assault.
Lorincz faces up to 30 years in prison if she is convicted on the manslaughter charge, according to the MCSO.
Suspected white supremacist Susan Lorincz has finally been arrested for the shooting death of 35-year-old mother, Ajike “AJ” Owens. pic.twitter.com/erZkjcYJTi
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) June 7, 2023
“I want to thank my detectives for working tirelessly to fully investigate this case. I also want to thank Ms. Owens’ family for their patience as we conducted the diligent investigation that we were bound by law to conduct,” Sheriff Woods said. “Ms. Lorincz’s fate is now in the hands of the judicial system, which I trust will deliver justice in due course.”
Attorney Ben Crump, the lawyer representing Owens’ family, said they are pleased to know Lorincz is behind bars, but that her arrest should have come sooner.
“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,” Crump said in a statement.
“What does it say when a person can shoot and kill an unarmed mother in the presence of her young children, and not be immediately taken into custody, questioned, and charged?” he wrote. “We will remain vigilant in seeking justice for AJ and other people of color…”
Crump said laws like “Stand Your Ground” need to be removed from the books.
“We must eradicate laws like Stand Your Ground that only contribute to the lawlessness of our country and the disproportionate maiming and killing of people of color,” he declared. “This is an important step in a necessary journey to justice for AJ.”
Sheriff Woods said he believes Stand Your Ground “is a great law designed to help Floridians to defend themselves and keep themselves safe.”
“However, it does not apply in all situations, and this situation is a prime example of when it was not justified,” he added.
58-yo Susan Lorincz has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and other offenses in the Ocala (FL) shooting death of neighbor Ajike Owens, who was shot through a closed door. This is an important step in a NECESSARY journey to justice for AJ. pic.twitter.com/2YyorzZaMA
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 7, 2023
The incident occurred in the 1600-block of 108th Lane at approximately 9 p.m. on June 2, WESH reported.
Crump said Owens’ children were playing in a field near their apartment complex that night when a neighbor “began yelling at them to get off her land and calling them racial slurs,” NBC News reported.
Neighbors said the children took off for home and accidentally left an iPad behind, which the angry neighbor allegedly spotted and took, according to WFTV.
Investigators said that when the kids went over to the neighbor’s house to retrieve the iPad, she hurled a pair of skates at them, according to the news outlet.
Crump said the woman also allegedly threw the iPad at one of Owens’ sons, hitting him with it and causing the screen to crack, NBC News reported.
The children went home and told their mother about what occurred, according to WOFL.
Owens then headed over to the neighbor’s house to confront her about the incident.
“She knocked on the door, and at that point, the woman allegedly shot through the door,” Crump told NBC News.
The neighbor later told investigators Owens was yelling and banging on doors just before the shooting occurred, WFTV reported.
“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,” Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters during a news conference on Monday, according to WESH.
The children immediately ran to another home for help.
“Her children ran to my house, banging on the door, saying to call the police, that their mother was shot,” neighbor Ashley Remy told WESH.
MCSO deputies arrived to find Owens suffering from at least one gunshot wound.
She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, WESH reported.
Ajike Owens’ children were playing in a field near an apartment complex when a white woman yelled racial slurs at them and said to get off her land.
The children left behind an iPad which she stole. When one of the children came back to retrieve it she threw it at him and hit… pic.twitter.com/ckVMnSrP34
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) June 5, 2023
At least two of Owens’ children witnessed the shooting, according to NBC News.
The kids range in age from four to 13, according to WOFL.
Sheriff Woods said there was a long-standing “neighborhood feud” between Owens’ family and the woman who shot the mother of four, WESH reported.
He said deputies responded to the area between six and eight times in the past due to other disputes.
Lorincz claimed she shot Owens in self-defense, according to Sheriff Woods.
“That law has specific instructions for us and law enforcement, and any time that we think or perceive or believe that [the Stand Your Ground law] might come into play, we cannot make an arrest,” the sheriff told reporters prior Lorincz being charged, according to NBC News. “The law specifically says that, and what we have to rule out is whether the deadly force was justified or not before we can even make the arrest.”
“I wish our shooter would have called us instead of taking action into her own hands,” the sheriff added, according to WOFL. “I wish Mrs. Owens would have called in the hopes we could’ve never gotten to the point at which we are here today.”