By Phil Helsel - NBC News
The white woman accused of killing a black neighbor by shooting through the door of her Florida home after a dispute involving the victim's children was finally arrested Tuesday and charged with involuntary manslaughter, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, allegedly killed Ajike AJ Owens Friday night by shooting through a locked gate in Ocala, north of Orlando, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Susan Louise Lorincz.Marion County Sheriff's Office
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the victim's family, and other activists had been demanding his arrest for days, wondering what role the victim's race played in the killing and the extent to which the defendant can appeal to Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which protects those who use lethal force in self-defense.
"While we are relieved that the woman apparently responsible for the tragic murder of Ajike AJ Owens has been arrested, we are no less concerned that accountability has taken so long because there are archaic laws like Stand Your Ground," attorneys for Owens' family said in a statement Tuesday.
The incident occurred at nine o'clock on Friday night. Lorincz had become angry because Owens' children were playing in a field near his home and "got into an argument" with them, according to the Sheriff's Office.
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During that argument, Lorincz threw a skate at Owens' 10-year-old son and then threw an umbrella at him and one of his brothers, according to authorities. Owens then knocked on Lorincz's door several times and Lorincz, without opening it, shot him in the chest.
Ajike Owens.@Ben Crump via Twitter
Lorincz told investigators he acted in self-defense "and that Owens had been trying to break down his door before firing his firearm," the Sheriff's Office said.
Sheriff Billy Woods said he was legally obligated to investigate whether the Stand Your Ground law applied in this case before making any arrests.
But he added that Owens' death was not justified under that self-defense law: "It was simply murder."
"In no way should she have felt that this person knocking on the door could cause her death or imminent bodily harm," Crump said Tuesday. "And if he felt afraid, he could call the police. Why shoot through a metal door?" he added.
Owens was a mother of four, according to the family's attorneys, who explained that the children had been playing in a field near an apartment complex and that Lorincz yelled at them. One of them left an iPad, which the woman later took, he said.
The report prepared by the Sheriff's Office mentions that its deputies were informed upon arriving at the scene that a woman, described at the time as a suspect, had taken an iPad.
Deputies had responded to a home invasion call that night when they were alerted to a shooting. Upon arrival, they found Owens lying in the grass not breathing after being shot, according to the report. According to the Sheriff's Office, the two women had had disagreements in the past.
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Homicide with a firearm is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison in Florida, according to the Sheriff's Office.