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Family of Ajike Owens, Florida mom shot through neighbor's front door, speaks out

Florida woman faces manslaughter charges
Florida woman accused of fatally shooting neighbor through front door to appear in court 01:51

The family of Ajike Owens, a Florida woman who was allegedly shot and killed by her neighbor, Susan Lorincz, spoke to "CBS Mornings" ahead of Lorincz's expected virtual appearance in court Thursday. 

Lorincz has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Owens, a 35-year-old mother of four who went by the nickname "AJ." Owens went to Lorincz's home on Friday after Lorincz, 58, reportedly threw a roller skate at Owens' 10-year-old son. The skate hit him on the toe, according to a police incident report. When the boy and his 12-year-old brother went to speak with Lorincz, she opened her door and swung at them with an umbrella.

Police said that after Owens' sons told her what happened, Owens went to Lorincz's home, "knocked on the door multiple times, and demanded that Lorincz come outside." Lorincz fired one shot through the door, striking Owens in the upper chest. 

Mom Ajike "AJ" Owens was shot and killed in Florida.  Courtesy Ben Crump

Police and Owens' family have confirmed that her 10-year-old son, the one who was struck with the roller skate, was standing beside her at the time. Owens' mother, Pamela Dias, told "CBS Mornings" that her grandson feels guilty he couldn't save his mother. 

"His words were, 'Grandma, Grandma, I couldn't save her,'" Dias said at a recent press conference. 

According to a statement by Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods, the two women had been engaged in a dispute for over two years, with deputies responding to about half a dozen related calls since January 2021. The basis of the feud, Woods said, was that Lorincz was upset because Owens' children played in a field close to her home. 

"I still can't believe this happened," Dias said. "When does a person get shot for knocking on a door?" 

Community and family members are also furious that Lorincz wasn't arrested for four days. Lorincz claimed self-defense, and police say the delay in her arrest was because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows for the use of deadly force if someone believes they're in imminent danger. Sheriff Woods said the shooting was "simply a killing." 

Florida woman charged for fatally shooting neighbor through apartment door 02:28

Lorincz also faces charges of culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault.

Dias is now organizing an online fundraiser to cover the cost of Owens' funeral and to help support her four children. Dias wrote on the fundraiser that Owens worked as a manager in the hospitality industry and was a "Team Mom" for her children's football and cheerleading teams.

Dias said she will now raise Owens' children.

"I have to be strong. I have no choice, I just do, to raise these children," she said. "To give them a future that their mother would have wanted to."  

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