A Florida woman named Susan Louise Lorincz has been arrested and is facing charges of manslaughter, culpable negligence, battery, and assault in connection with the fatal shooting of her neighbor, Ajike Owens, who was Black.
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred following a prolonged feud between Lorincz and Owens, as detailed in an arrest report released on June 8. During her initial court appearance via video hookup, Lorincz was seen wearing a dark protective vest.
Lorincz provided statements to investigators after the shooting, claiming that she had been dealing with issues involving children in the neighborhood, including Owens’ children, for a two-year period. She alleged that Owens’ children, ranging in age from 3 to 12, had previously made threats against her life.
On the day of the shooting, Lorincz stated that she had a headache and described a chaotic scene outside, with neighbors yelling and children running around in a grassy area between their apartment buildings. Lorincz asserted that Owens confronted her angrily and threatened to kill her. She further claimed that Owens forcefully banged on her door, causing her to fear for her safety.
Feeling panicked, Lorincz fired a single round from her 380-caliber handgun. It was noted in the arrest report that Lorincz possessed a second handgun in her home.
Sheriff Billy Woods announced the charges against Lorincz, emphasizing that her actions did not qualify as justifiable self-defense under Florida law. In addition to manslaughter with a firearm, Lorincz faces charges of culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault, told CBS News.
The case has sparked renewed attention on Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which grants individuals significant leeway when claiming self-defense. However, the sheriff clarified that this particular case does not fall under the “stand your ground” law and is being treated simply as a killing.
Following the arrest, civil rights attorney Ben Crump joined Owens’ family, friends, and community leaders in a news conference where they expressed gratitude to the sheriff for making the arrest and called for justice to be served in Owens’ case.
Witnesses and neighbors who attended the news conference highlighted the ongoing feud between Lorincz and the neighborhood children, who frequently played in a nearby lot. They alleged that Lorincz had a history of verbally antagonizing the children and using racial slurs against them. One child even reported that on the night of the shooting, Lorincz came out of her house, made obscene gestures, and uttered racially derogatory remarks.
Investigation records revealed that law enforcement had responded to at least six calls related to the ongoing dispute between Owens and Lorincz since January 2021.
The shooting occurred in a neighborhood outside Ocala, known for its surrounding thoroughbred horse farms. The incident has sparked calls for justice and healing within the community, reigniting discussions about the intersection of race and gun violence.
As the case progresses, close attention will be paid to ensure a thorough and fair legal process that addresses the concerns of both the victim’s family and the broader community.