A white woman has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of her Black neighbor in Florida last week amid a dispute over children playing.
Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, was taken into custody Tuesday night and charged with manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault in the death of Ajike Owens, 35, a Black mother of four, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
Owens was shot through the door of Lorincz’s home in Ocala, Florida Friday night while her 9-year-old son stood next to her. Authorities say Owens knocked on Lorincz’s door to confront her after she threw a pair of skates at her children, hitting at least one of them, while they played in an open field near her apartment.
Police responded to a trespassing call Friday night and found Owens with gunshot wounds. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Lorincz claimed she acted in self-defense because Owens had been trying to break down her door before she fired the gun. She also told investigators that Owens had attacked her in the past.
Even though authorities were under pressure to make an arrest earlier, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods explained at a press conference on Monday that because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, he could not do so until authorities could prove that the shooter did not act in self-defense.
At Wednesday’s press conference Sheriff Woods said their investigation revealed that Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under state law.
“Through the investigation – including obtaining the statements of eyewitnesses who only came forward as late as yesterday – detectives were able to establish that Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law,” the Woods said.
Owens’ killing put Florida’s controversial ‘stand your ground law’ back into the spotlight. The statute says that individuals have the right to use deadly force to protect themselves if they believe they are being threatened with death or serious injury.