Florida police have arrested the white neighbor who reportedly shot Ajike “AJ” Owens, a Black woman who later died from her injuries.
via: CBS News
A White woman who fired through her front and killed a Black neighbor was arrested Tuesday, authorities said, in a case that’s put Florida’s divisive “stand your ground law” back in the spotlight. The shooting sparked widespread anger and protests.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Susan Lorincz, 58, was charged with manslaughter with a firearm and other offenses.
Ajike Owens, a 35-year-old mother of four, was killed Friday night in a shooting Sheriff Billy Woods said was the culmination of a 2-and-a-half-year feud between the neighbors. They lived in the rolling hills south of Ocala, a north Florida city that’s the heart of the state’s horse country.
In a video posted on Facebook late Tuesday night, the sheriff said this was not a stand your ground case but “simply a killing.”
“Now many of you were struggling to understand why there was not an immediate arrest,” the sheriff said. “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 video shared by the sheriff’s office shows two detectives and a deputy escorting Lorincz, who was wearing shorts, a black top and a jacket, down a hallway. The woman’s hands were behind her back as she walked.
According to the sheriff’s office, evidence showed that, over time, Lorincz had become angry over Owens’ children playing in a field close to her apartment.
On Friday night, the office said, Lorincz got into an argument with the children and “was overhead yelling at them by a neighbor.”
During the argument, the office continued, Lorincz threw a roller skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son and hit him in a toe. The boy and his 12-year-old brother then went to speak to Lorincz, and she opened her door and swung at them with an umbrella. They told their mother what happened and “Owens approached Lorincz’s home, knocked on the door multiple times, and demanded that Lorincz come outside. Lorincz then fired one shot through the door, striking Owens in her upper chest.
“At the time she was shot, Owens’ 10-year-old son was standing beside her,” the sheriff’s office noted.
Deputies responding to a trespassing call at the apartment Friday night found Owens suffering from gunshot wounds. She later died at a hospital.
When questioned by the sheriff’s office, Lorincz claimed she acted in self-defense and that Owens was trying to break down her door. “Lorincz also claimed that Owens had come after her in the past and had previously attacked her,” the office continued.
But “detectives were able to establish that Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law” and she was arrested, the office said.
The manslaughter charge Lorincz is facing is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, the office noted. She’s also charged with culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault.
Billy Woods said in a statement that he wants “to thank Ms. Owens’ family for their patience as we conducted the diligent investigation that we were bound by law to conduct. Ms. Lorincz’s fate is now in the hands of the judicial system which I trust will deliver justice in due course. As I go to bed tonight, I will be saying a prayer for Ms. Owens’ children and the rest of her family. I’d ask all of you to do the same.”