Online jail records show 58-year-old Susan Louise Lorincz’s booking date as June 7. Listed charges include manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery, and assault in the shooting death of Ajike Owens. Per the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the manslaughter with a firearm count is a felony that carries with it the possibility of up to 30 years behind bars if convicted as charged.
"My detectives have been working around the clock since this happened, sifting through evidence and interviewing witnesses," Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said in a video statement shared Tuesday evening. "Now I said this at the beginning: We want the same thing as Mrs. Owens’ family, and that’s justice. Now here’s the thing about justice—she’s on her own time."
From there, Woods spoke on what he says was the rationale behind not making an immediate arrest in the case. Doing so, he argued, could have hurt the case in the long term. Furthermore, Woods said, investigators only had “one side of the story’ when first beginning their work.
“Mrs. Olsen’s story had to be told through evidence in the eyes of witnesses who were there,” he said.
As for the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, Woods expressed support for it in a general sense when announcing the arrest. However, he noted, it does not apply in this shooting.
“This situation is a prime example of when it was not justified,” Woods said. “It was simply a killing.”
According to police, Lorincz had “become angry” at the victim’s children for playing outside near her home. On the date of the fatal shooting, Lorincz is said to have gotten into an argument with the children during which she “threw a roller skate” at one of the children, identified as Owens' 10-year-old son. Lorincz later swung at the 10-year-old son and his 12-year-old brother with an umbrella, police said. Attorneys Ben Crump and Anthony D. Thomas, who are representing Owens’ family, further alleged that the woman also called the children racial slurs.
Later that day, when Owens went to Lorincz’s home, she was allegedly shot through the door by Lorincz. At the time of the shooting, Owens was standing next to her 10-year-old son. While Lorincz initially argued she had shot Owens in self-defense, the ensuing investigation found that the woman’s “actions were not justifiable.”
Prior to the announcement of Lorincz’s arrest, the family had publicly called for the woman to be held accountable for her actions. “My daughter, my grandchildren’s mother, was shot and killed ,” Owens’ mother, Pamela Dias, said in a recent press conference.
In a statement shared with Complex on Tuesday night, Crump and Thomas pointed to Florida's Stand Your Ground law as still being in need of eradication.
"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," the attorneys said in an email. "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?"