In Ocala, Florida, a white woman was finally arrested yesterday, several days after she fatally shot a Black mother whose kids the white lady had been yelling at earlier. Prior to the shooting, the white woman, Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, had allegedly been shouting racial slurs at the children of the victim, Ajike “AJ” Owens, 35, because the kids were playing in a field near Lorincz’s apartment and she didn’t like that. Neighbors said that was a fairly common occurrence.
Lorincz allegedly hurled both the racial epithets and a pair of roller skates at the children, hitting one (with a skate). When Owens, a mother of four who lived across the street, went to Lorincz’s door to ask why Lorincz was harassing her kids, Lorincz fired a gun through the locked door, fatally wounding Owens, whose 10-year-old son was with her at the time. She died shortly after being taken to a hospital.
The AP reports that Lorincz has been charged with “manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault.” We are not a lawyer, and yet that sounds like some criminal undercharging to us.
The sheriff’s department “hasn’t confirmed there were slurs uttered or said whether race was a factor in the shooting,” but attorney Ben Crump, who’s representing Owens’s family, said that Lorincz had been yelling slurs at the kids prior to the killing. Following the arrest, Crump issued a statement saying Owens’s family is “relieved” that there was an arrest, but
they remain concerned it has taken this long because “archaic laws like Stand Your Ground exist.”
The delay in arresting Lorincz following the shooting, officials said, was necessary because of Florida’s shoot anyone you want law, also known as “stand your ground,” which they said prevented them from making an arrest until they determined that Lorincz had not, as she claimed, acted in self-defense.
In a statement on Facebook, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office gave this account of the shooting:
The evidence gathered during the investigation established 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. 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.
The statement noted that Lorincz said she had “acted in self defense” because, she claimed, Owens had been “trying to break down her door”; Lorincz “also claimed that Owens had come after her in the past and had previously attacked her,” so that ought to be enough for rightwing media to insist that Owens had it coming. The statement said that the investigation, including statements from eyewitnesses, determined that “Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law.”
In a bizarre video statement accompanying the account of the shooting and investigation, Sheriff
Dipshit McGillicuddy Billy Woods decried protesters calling for an immediate arrest as some kind of “mob” action that he’d had to bravely resist, because “here’s the thing about Justice. She’s on her own time. Not my time, not a prosecutor’s time, not even a mob’s time. A mob seeking, well, what they think is justice.” In nearly the same breath, he thanked “all of you that have sent me messages, sent me emails, texted me, and encouraging the arrest because it shows that you care about a fellow human being.”
So: text-based calls for an arrest good citizenship, protests are a mob.
The AP reports that before the arrest Tuesday, about “three dozen mostly Black protesters gathered outside the Marion County Judicial Center to demand that the shooter be arrested,” so that was quite the mob, although maybe it looked bigger because of the complexion of the protesters.
Woods said that all sides of the case needed to be investigated, and that on Friday night all his deputies had to go on was the statement of the shooter. Somehow, that hadn’t stopped him from saying Monday that there was a “neighborhood feud” between Owens and Lorincz (whom he didn’t identify at the time) and that there had been calls to law enforcement from “either one side or the other, either the mother, Ms. Owens has called, or the shooter has called, complaining about the children, just children being children.”
Translation: Lorincz called the sheriff’s office to complain about the children, and it sure as hell sounds like like Owens had called to complain about Lorincz’s treatment of her children, although Woods appeared to frame both women as equally troublesome, saying he wished that the shooter had called instead of taking matters into her own hands, and that Owens should have, too.
A neighbor’s account certainly doesn’t make Owens sound like an equal partner in any “feud,” as the AP reports:
Lauren Smith, 40, lives across the street from where the shooting happened. She was on her porch that day and saw one of Owens’ young sons pacing, and yelling, “They shot my mama, they shot my mama.”
She ran toward the house, and started chest compressions until a rescue crew arrived. She said there wasn’t an altercation and that Owens didn’t have a weapon.
“She was angry all the time that the children were playing out there,” Smith said. “She would say nasty things to them. Just nasty.” Smith, who is white, described the neighborhood is family friendly.
It’s no “feud” if one person is constantly harassing another person’s family and calling the cops, and the victim of the harassment also calls the cops to report the harassment. I’d call that “corroboration,” but then, I’m not a sheriff in Florida.
Also, look at this crap:
“There was a lot of aggressiveness from both of them, back and forth,” the sheriff said Lorincz told investigators. “Whether it be banging on the doors, banging on the walls and threats being made. And then at that moment is when Ms. Owens was shot through the door.”
And what did Ms. Owens say about the “feud”? Oh, right. She’s unavailable for comment. So even if Lorincz doesn’t qualify for a stand your ground defense, her narrative is what we’re hearing, even from the cop who said in the video statement last night that this was “simply a killing.”
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