Image of Susan Lorincz after her arrest by Marion County Sheriff deputies. Photo courtesy by Marion County Sheriff Office
June 7 (UPI) -- Police in Florida arrested the neighbor accused of fatally shooting Ajike Owens through a closed door last week.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods on Tuesday announced that Susan Lorincz was arrested and charged with manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault in the incident that took place on Friday.
The manslaughter charge is a first-degree felony carrying a possible sentence of 30 years in prison.
Owens' family had called for Woods to arrest Lorincz, a White woman, after the altercation involving Owens, a Black woman, and her children but Woods said he needed to do a complete investigation and talk with witnesses before making that decision.
"I want to thank my detectives for working tirelessly to fully investigate this case," Woods said after the arrest. "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."
The investigation found that Lorincz was arguing with Owens' children who had been playing in a field near her home on Friday and could be heard yelling at them while throwing a roller skate at Owen's 10-year-old son that hit him in the toe.
Owens' 12-year-old son then went to speak with Lorincz who opened the door to her apartment and swung an umbrella at the children.
Owens later approached the home and knocked on the door multiple times, demanding for Lorincz to come outside at which point Lorincz fired a shot through a closed door, striking Owens in the chest with her 10-year-old son standing next to her.
Owens was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. Woods said Lorincz claims that she acted in self-defense, charging that Owens was trying to break down her door before she fired the shot.
"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 sheriff's office statement said.
Woods acknowledged earlier in the week that Owens and Lorincz had been feuding in the past and there was "aggressiveness back and forth from both of them" before the shooting but needed more time to get both sides of the story.