‘They want their mother’: Family thankful for arrest in shooting death of Ajike ‘AJ’ Owens
OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The family of Ajike ‘AJ’ Owens was disappointed in the delay, but thankful charges were filed against the woman accused of shooting the mother of four through a locked door.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested Susan Lorincz, 58, and questioned her Tuesday night. Lorincz was charged with manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault.
“We are thankful to Sheriff Woods for the arrest last night. It brought great relief to Pamela Dias and the family,” said civil rights Attorney Ben Crump at a press conference with the family on Wednesday. “I want to say thank you to the young people from Ocala and across the country.”
Deputies say on June 2, Owens knocked on Lorincz’s door following an incident between her and Owens’ children. Lorincz fired a shot through the door hitting Owens. Her 9-year-old child was standing beside her when the shot was fired. She died a the hospital.
“It is not fair that [the children] have to deal with this,” said Pamela Dias, Owens’ mother. “It is not fair that their grandmother, whom they love, has to be one the kiss and hold and wipe away those tears. They want their mother to do that.”
The attorney for the family suggested the state attorney should raise the charges to murder in the second degree. Community members are considering further protests this weekend to demand higher charges.
“Ocala, Marion County, Florida, United States, I am calling on you to not fail those four children. Do not fail Ajike. Do not fail AJ,” said Dias.
Sheriff Billy Woods says murder charges would be harder to prove in a court of law and he wants to give the family the best opportunity for a conviction.
“The two charges above that are second-degree murder and first-degree murder, and what you have to absolutely prove--at least on the state side and even for us to a smaller degree--is that it was pre-meditated, it was thought out, it was a meticulously laid-out plan.” Woods explained. “We want to ensure that we charge her with everything possible, every crime that she committed so that she gets prosecuted for every one of them and gets the maximum possible sentencing that the courts would give.”
A vigil will be held for Owens on Thursday. Crump shared that Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, will be delivering a eulogy.
Deputies said Lorincz would not attend first appearance on Wednesday because she must undergo testing to be medically cleared to be placed in a cell.
They said her first appearance will be scheduled for Thursday, attending via video call from the Marion County Jail.
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