Susan Lorincz is the 58-year-old woman who is accused of shooting her neighbor, Ajike Owens, to death on June 2, 2023, after police say Owens knocked on her door near Ocala, Florida, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
“On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Major Crimes Detective Ryan Stith arrested Susan Louise Lorincz (W/F, DOB: 7/23/1964) for the killing of 35-year-old Ajike Owens,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
Lorincz is white, and Owens was Black, and the shooting sparked protests, according to CBS News. Lorincz was charged with “manslaughter with a firearm, a first-degree felony punishable by 30 years imprisonment, as well as culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault,” the sheriff’s release says. The suspect’s full name is Susan Louise Lorincz. Owens also went by the name AJ Owens.
In a news conference, Sheriff Billy Woods said the delay in charges was, in part, because there were children witnesses involved who needed to be interviewed. Owens’ mother said in a family news conference that Owens was unarmed. Woods said authorities had to contemplate the impact of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law on the case.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. When Authorities Responded to the Scene, They Found Ajike Owens Suffering From a Gunshot Wound in Front of the Apartment of Susan Lorincz, Sheriff’s Officials Say
On June 2, 2023, at approximately 9 p.m., “MCSO deputies were responding to a trespassing call in the 1600 block of SW 107th Lane in Ocala when another call was received about a shooting at the same location,” the sheriff’s office’s statement said.
“When deputies arrived, they located Owens in front of Lorincz’s apartment, suffering from a gunshot wound. Deputies rendered aid to Owens until Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) responded and transported her to HCA Florida Ocala Hospital, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries,” the release said.
“The Major Crimes Unit responded to begin their investigation. That night, and during the days that followed, interviews were conducted with the witnesses to the shooting, including Owen’s children, who were interviewed yesterday by forensic interviewers from Kimberly’s Center who specialize in interviewing children,” the release said.
At a press conference in the days after the shooting, an attorney for Owens called for an arrest.
Pamela Dias, Owens’ mother, said at the news conference, “This young lady, my baby, was so full of life. She was a single mother of four.” She loved her children with “all her being,” Dias said. “Her kids were everything.”
2. Susan Lorincz Is Accused of Becoming Angry That Ajike Owens’ Children Were Playing in a Field Close to Her Home
Woods said “this has been a neighborhood feud over time.” Both Lorincz and Owens had called police before, Woods said. “I wish our shooter had called us instead of taking actions into her own hands. I wish Mrs. Owens would have called us,” Woods said.
According to the release, Lorincz “was also interviewed by detectives. In addition to these interviews, detectives also gathered and reviewed forensic evidence, digital evidence, and surveillance footage obtained from various sources. Detectives also reviewed details of prior incidents and calls for service involving Lorincz and Owens.”
The release from the sheriff’s office said that investigators determined that, over a period of time, Lorincz “had become angry at Owens’ children, who were playing in a field close to her home. On June 2, Lorincz engaged in an argument with the children and was overhead yelling at them by a neighbor.”
During this argument, Lorincz “threw a roller skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son, striking the child in the toe. After this, when the child and his 12-year-old brother went to speak to Lorincz, she opened her door and swung at them with an umbrella. The children then went and told their mother, Owens, about what had happened,” the release said.
Something may have been thrown at the kids, but authorities aren’t sure if it was thrown directly at them, although it hit the children, Woods, the sheriff, said at the news conference. He added that this information could change because authorities are still interviewing the children. Reporters asked whether an iPad was thrown and the sheriff said authorities are trying to rule that out or confirm it.
3. Susan Lorincz Shot Ajike Owens Through the Door After Owens ‘Knocked on the Door Multiple Times,’ Sheriff’s Officials Say
According to sheriff’s office officials, 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.”
When interviewed, Lorincz “claimed that she acted in self-defense and that Owens had been trying to break down her door prior to her discharging her firearm. Lorincz also claimed that Owens had come after her in the past and had previously attacked her,” officials wrote.
“Through their 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 release said.
Woods said there were accusations of banging on the door and threats being made but that officials have only heard that from “one side.”
Dias said that four kids “are left behind without a mother.” She accused Susan Lorincz of taking “that voice.” She said that Owens “posed no imminent threat to anyone.” A family friend, Kimberly Robinson-Jones, said at the news conference that Lorincz, a “tenant,” had “no right” to tell the kids they couldn’t play in the field.
4. Ajike Owens Was Described as a ‘Devoted Christian,’ a Single Mother & a Team Mom ‘Whose Life Centered Around Her Children’
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for Owens’ children.
“Ajike Owens (affectionately known as AJ) graciously affected all she came into contact with her infectious personality. She had a smile that would A light up the room. But most of all, she was known for how much she loved and absolutely lived for her four children. To say she loved her children unconditionally is an understatement,” the page says.
“She was a single mother whose life centered around her children. She was the Team Mom for her children’s football/cheerleading teams. She excelled professionally as a manager in the Restaurant/Hospitality industry,” it adds.
“She was a devoted Christian who believed in bringing her kids up in a supportive Christian environment. After being a devoted mother, she was a devoted friend that took friendships to heart. There wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for those near and dear to her heart. She often would give to other single mothers that were in similar situations that she’d been in.”
“I want to thank my detectives for working tirelessly to fully investigate this case,” Sheriff Billy Woods said in the written statement.
“I also want 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.”
5. Ajike Owens’ Mother Accused Susan Lorincz of Calling the Children Racist Slurs
In the news conference, Dias accused Lorincz of calling Owens’ children racist slurs in the past.
“Harassed the children in the neighborhood,” Dias said. “Harassed Ajike Shantrelle Owens’ four babies. She called them racial slurs: the N-word, slaves.”
“A closed, locked door,” Dias said. “Door never opened. My daughter, my grandchildren’s mother, was shot and killed with her nine-year-old son standing next to her.
At the sheriff’s office’s news conference, Woods said he received phone calls, text messages and emails expressing concerns about the shooting. To the family of Owens, he said he cares about the people who live in Marion County. He said he wanted the family to know he was there to provide all of his resources to find justice in this case.
“My heart goes to them,” he said, adding that there were also “young children who are victims.”