White Woman Arrested In Fatal Shooting Black Neighbor Ajike 'AJ' Owens

Photo: Marion County Sheriff's Office

A Florida woman has been arrested and charged in the shooting death of her Black neighbor, Ajike "AJ" Owens.

According to the New York Times, 58-year-old Susan Louise Lorincz, who is white, was charged with manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault in connection to Owens' shooting, the Marion County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday (June 7).

The charges come days after civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Owens' family, shared an account of how the shooting unfolded.

Crump previously said Owens was shot and killed on Friday (June 2) after one of her children accidentally left their iPad in a field they were playing in near an apartment complex in Ocala. According to Crump, a white neighbor, now identified as Lorincz, called the children racial slurs and yelled at the children to "get off her land." The woman took the tablet that was left behind by Owen's child, the lawyer said.

When the child went back to retrieve his iPad, the woman allegedly threw the device, which hit him and cracked the screen. Owens knocked on her neighbor's door after her child told her what happened, according to Crump.

At that point, Crump said, the woman shot Owens through her door.

Police said they received reports of trespassing and a shooting at the same address on Friday. When officers arrived at Lorincz's apartment, they found Owens suffering a gunshot wound.

Owens was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Prior to the shooting, Lorincz became angry at Owen's children while they were playing in the field close to her home, according to police. While arguing with the children, Lorincz threw a roller skate and swung an umbrella at the children, police said.

Lorincz told police that she acted in self-defense when shot Owens through her door. The sheriff's office previously said it was investigating whether the shooting was justifiable under Florida's stand-your-ground law.

Following an investigation, “detectives were able to establish that Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law,” the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.

“Sometimes, when we do these investigations of cases of this level, rushing into making an arrest is not the right thing to do sometimes,” Sheriff Billy Woods said in a video statement. “The justice we have been all been seeking has been served. The peace for them is still a ways down the road.”

Lawyers for Owens' family were critical of how long it took authorities to arrest and charge the shooter.

“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 and lawyer Anthony D. Thomas said in a statement after the arrest. “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."

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