What we know about Ajike “AJ” Owens, the Florida mom fatally shot through a neighbor’s door ~ Florida Mom AJ Owens Fatally Shot by Neighbor
Florida Mother of Four Fatally Shot Through Neighbor’s Door After Ongoing Dispute
Ajike Owens, a 35-year-old single mother of four, affectionately known as AJ, was fatally shot through a door in Florida after an ongoing dispute with a neighbor. Owens and her children had been playing in a field near their home in Ocala, a city about 80 miles north of Orlando, when the incident occurred. The neighbor, Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, was arrested and charged with manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery, and two counts of assault.
Increasing Senseless Killings of Black Women
As a part of my work, I come across a lot of disturbing stories about senseless killings, unlawful arrests, and discrimination in various systems. However, the recent increase in the number of senseless killings of Blacks by White homeowners has been particularly alarming. The fact that these killings are often done by shooting through closed doors is simply incomprehensible.
No killing of an innocent person can be categorized as anything less than senseless. However, when a person shoots an unarmed female through a closed door, the encroachment upon that person and their family’s personal sanctity is inexorably egregious.
Gun Ownership and the Right to Defend
While I support gun ownership and the right to defend oneself, home, and property, a clear threat must be imminent. Simply being afraid is not cause for someone to take the life of another person. The shooter in these cases initiated the escalation, and their actions should not be justified under any circumstances.
Equal Exposure for Black Women’s Killings
Another reason I am sharing this is that the killing of Black women doesn’t always get the same exposure as the killing of Black men. We need to be just as vocal about these types of killings of Black women as we were about Amaud Arbery, Mike Brown, and George Floyd. These women deserve justice and a voice in the fight against systemic racism.
At The Odyssey Project, we will continue to sound the clarion on egregious acts like this. We will keep fighting for justice and equality for all, regardless of their race or gender.
The Ongoing Dispute
Owens and Lorincz had been engaged in a 2½-year dispute, which prompted deputies to respond about a half dozen times since January 2021. Lorincz was upset because Owens’ children played in a field close to her home. On the day of the deadly shooting, the children were playing in the field when Lorincz allegedly threw a roller skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son, hitting him in his toe. Lorincz also swung an umbrella at the boy and his older brother.
The Fatal Shooting
According to the incident report, 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 Arrest and the “Stand Your Ground” Laws
Police held off on the arrest while they determined what role the state’s “stand your ground” laws might have played in the shooting. However, on Tuesday, officers arrested Lorincz in connection with Owens’ death. Ben Crump, an attorney representing Owens’ family, said telling Owens’ children of the arrest was a relief.
The Family’s Reaction
After her daughter’s death, Pamala Dias, Owens’ mother, spoke out at a press conference. “She had no weapon; she posed no imminent threat to anyone,” Dias said. Dias also organized a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs and support Owens’ four children.
Dias also organized a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs and support Owens’ four children. In the GoFundMe, Dias commemorated her daughter as someone with an infectious personality and a “smile that would light up the room.”
Before her death, Owens worked as a manager in the hospitality industry and helped out as a “Team Mom” for her children’s football and cheerleading teams. According to Dias, Owens was known for her infectious personality, her smile that would light up the room, and her unwavering love for her children. Sharpton will eulogize her at her funeral.