In a tragic incident that has sparked outrage and demands for justice, a white woman has been arrested in Marion County, Florida, for shooting and killing her black neighbor, Ajike “AJ” Owens. The arrest comes after mounting pressure from Owens’s family and local politicians, who deemed the killing unjustified and called for a stronger response.
The accused, Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, faces multiple charges, including manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest brings some relief to Owens’s grieving family, as Sheriff Billy Woods affirmed in a video posted on social media, “The justice we have all been seeking has been served.”
The tragic incident unfolded around 9 p.m. on a fateful Friday evening when deputies responded to a call regarding possible trespassing at a property in Ocala, Florida. Upon arrival, officers discovered Owens suffering from a gunshot wound. Despite their efforts to save her, she tragically succumbed to her injuries.
A thorough investigation conducted by the Major Crimes Unit shed light on the events leading up to the fatal shooting. Detectives interviewed Owens’s children, witnesses, and scrutinized surveillance footage, as well as other forensic and digital evidence. The findings revealed a troubling pattern of anger and racial slurs directed at Owens’s children by Lorincz in the past.
While investigators could not definitively establish whether racial language was used immediately before the shooting, they uncovered a series of disturbing incidents. According to Zach Moore, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Lorincz had engaged in arguments with the children and had previously directed racial slurs at them and potentially other children in the neighborhood.
On the ill-fated night of the shooting, Lorincz had another altercation with Owens’s children. Witnesses reported hearing Lorincz yelling at the kids, and she even threw a roller skate that struck Owens’s 10-year-old son. Lorincz then swung an umbrella at Owens’s son and his brother when they attempted to engage with her. In response, Owens approached Lorincz’s residence, knocking on her door multiple times, demanding her to come outside. Tragically, Lorincz fired a single shot through the door, striking Owens in the upper chest. Shockingly, her 10-year-old son stood beside her when the fatal shot was fired.
Lorincz, during questioning, claimed a history of animosity with Owens and asserted that she acted in self-defense, alleging that Owens had tried to break down her door before she discharged her firearm. However, the investigation concluded that Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law, as they did not meet the criteria outlined in the state’s “stand-your-ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force when faced with imminent death or great bodily harm.
The arrest of Lorincz brings a measure of solace to Owens’s grieving family, who had been vocal about the need for swift action and criticized the delays in the case. Attorneys representing the family expressed their relief at the arrest but also voiced concerns about what they perceived as shortcomings in the legal system, particularly referencing Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law.
While Sheriff Woods acknowledged the importance of Florida’s self-defense laws, he stressed that they did not apply to the shooting of Owens, categorizing it simply as a killing. He cautioned against rushing to make arrests, highlighting the need for thorough investigations to prevent complications and errors. As the case proceeds, the community remains united in grief and calls for justice. The tragic loss of Ajike Owens serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address racial tensions and promote understanding and empathy among neighbors.