OCALA, Fla. - Update (June 6): Late Tuesday, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said it had arrested Susan Lorincz for manslaughter, among other charges, in the death of Ajike "AJ" Owens. Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said it was not a justifiable shooting under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. "It was simply a killing," he said.
Florida deputies were called to a neighborhood in Marion County at least a half-dozen times over the last two years for various complaints between two neighbors, which ended last week in a shooting where one neighbor shot the other through a door, killing them, incident reports and police reports state.
Ajike "AJ" Owens, a mother of four, went to her neighbor's house on Friday, June 2, to confront her over allegations that she threw a skate and possibly an iPad at Owens' children amid a years-long "neighborhood feud," Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said. During that confrontation, the neighbor shot through her closed door, striking Owens, who later died at the hospital.
Owens' family said her nine-year-old son was standing next to her when she was shot.
The neighbor, who has not been identified, arrested, or charged with a crime, claims the shooting was in self-defense. Owens' family said prior to the shooting, the neighbor told the kids to "get off her land" and used racial slurs against them. The family has demanded that the neighbor be arrested and charged.
‘She had no weapon’: Mother of Ajike Owens remembers daughter
Newly-released documents show that deputies responded to the neighborhood for various disputes dating back to 2021.
In one case February 2022, the neighbor called 911 to file a complaint against Owens' because a dog was on her property. The neighbor told deputies that she and Owens got into an argument and Owens allegedly threw a "no trespassing" sign at her.
Owens told the deputy that the confrontation was not physical and that she did throw the sign as she was walking away, but it did not hit the neighbor. The deputy noted in his report that there was no visible injury to the neighbor.
In April 2023, the neighbor called 911 to file a report that Owens had opened her mailbox multiple times over several days. The neighbor told the deputy that she was not missing mail but that she needed a police report in order to file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Service Officer of the Inspector General.
Sheriff Woods said it appears that there had been a years-long squabble between the two, referring to it as a "neighborhood feud."
"I wish our shooter would have called us instead of taking action into her own hands. I wish Mrs. Owens would have called in the hopes we could've never gotten to the point at which we are here today," Sheriff Woods told reporters at a recent press conference.
He vowed to use all of his department's resources to investigate the case.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods press conference on the case
Owens family has hired attorneys Benjamin Crump and Anthony Thomas.
"We're going to demand justice from Sheriff Woods, because he has given me his promise that he was going to do his job and he was going to provide the most professional service that he could with he and his deputies, and we're going to hold him to that," Thomas said. "We need an arrest."
Pamela Dias, Owens' mother, said her daughter was full of life and "to know her is to know her kids were everything," adding that her daughter was unarmed and "posed no imminent threat to anyone."
"It was a village that raised my baby girl, and I am grateful to each and every one. It is now going to take a village for these children. What I'm asking is for justice, justice for my daughter, Ajike Shantrell Owens."