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Bond set at $154,000 for Florida woman arrested in the shooting death of a Black mother who knocked on her door

Susan Louise Lorincz faces charges of manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. (Photo: Marion County Sheriff's Office)

(CNN) — Bond for the Florida woman charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her neighbor, a Black mother who confronted her during a dispute over children playing outside, was set at $154,000 on Friday.

A judge set bond at $150,000 for the felony charge and another $4,000 for four misdemeanor counts for Susan Louise Lorincz, who earlier told the court she could only afford a bond of $1,700.

She also said she is unemployed and owns about $3,000 worth of furniture.

The state requested a $200,000 bond.

The owner of the apartment where Lorincz lives told detectives she was being evicted, according to a prosecutor – and the judge recommended Lorincz not return there.

Lorincz was arrested Tuesday, four days after investigators say she fatally shot Ajike “AJ” Owens through the front door of Lorincz’s home near Ocala, Florida, as Owens repeatedly knocked on her door, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Owens was demanding that Lorincz come out of her apartment after the 58-year-old White woman had yelled at Owens’ children and thrown a roller skate at her 10-year-old son, hitting him, the sheriff’s office said.

In addition to manslaughter with a firearm, Lorincz is facing charges of culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault, the sheriff’s office said early Wednesday.

If Lorincz posts bond, she will not be allowed to possess a firearm or any other weapon, nor is she allowed to have any contact with the victim’s family. If she returns to her apartment to gather belongings, she will have to have someone accompany her. She is allowed to live in her apartment as long as she isn’t evicted. Lorincz will also have to wear an ankle monitor.

Lorincz made an initial court appearance via video call on Thursday. She told the court she has no savings, is making payments on a car, and had filed for disability after working at United Healthcare. She said she last worked two weeks ago and that she supports her 55-year-old sister.

She was represented by the Marion County Public Defender’s Office. Judge Lori Cotton appointed the public defender’s office to represent Lorincz going forward.

Lorincz claimed to investigators that she was acting in self defense, saying she thought Owens was trying to break down her door and that she heard the victim threatening to kill her, according to an arrest affidavit. Lorincz said she discharged her firearm because “she felt like she was in ‘mortal danger,’” the document says.

Detectives, however, determined Lorincz’s actions “were not justifiable under Florida law,” the sheriff’s office said.

In the days since the killing, Owens’ family had repeatedly called for the arrest and charging of the shooter, insisting the incident was unprovoked and unjustified.

They also accused Lorincz of harassing the children and calling them racial slurs.

When investigators asked Lorincz about allegations of her calling children in the neighborhood racial slurs, “Lorincz admitted to having used the n-word toward children out of anger in the past and also to calling children other derogatory terms,” the affidavit says.

Ben Crump, one of Owens’ family attorneys, said he is confident Lorincz will be convicted.

“This is not a difficult case,” Crump said at a Wednesday news conference. “The reality is – if the roles were reversed, and you have a Black woman shoot a White woman through a locked metal door – nobody would say it’s a difficult case. …The only question is, are we going give AJ the same respect, the same dignity?”

Though the arrest has brought Owens’ family some relief, one of her sons is grappling with remorse because he was the one who told his mother about Lorincz’s confrontation with the children, the family said.

“He witnessed his mother shot and killed. In his soul, and his heart, it’s his fault that his older brother, his baby sister, and his baby brother, as well as himself, will never see their mother again,” Pamela Dias, Owens’ mother, said of the young boy.

Another child also blamed himself because he was unable to perform CPR on his mother, Dias said.

“Grandma, grandma. I couldn’t save her,” Dias recalled the 12-year-old boy telling her.

A funeral service will be held for Owens on Monday, Crump said.

Neighbors said shooter often ‘harassed’ kids

As investigators interviewed witnesses and neighbors, some explained that Lorincz often yells at children, including Owens’, and becomes angry at them when they play outside near her residence, according to the affidavit.

One neighbor said Lorincz “is known to harass the children by video recording them with her phone as they play in the open field between the apartment buildings,” the document states.

The neighbor said Lorincz believes the field where the children play belongs to her and that she allegedly calls 911 to make false reports against the kids, the affidavit says.

When investigators examined past 911 calls made by Lorincz, they found she had been calling for more than a year to report children trespassing on her property, but responding deputies always determined the children had been playing in a common area, the affidavit says.

Lorincz told investigators in an interview after the shooting that she had “had a problem” with neighborhood children for about two years due to “their lack of respect for her peace and privacy,” according to the arrest affidavit.

How the shooting unfolded

Investigators determined the shooting came after a confrontation between Lorincz and Owens’ children, who had been playing in the field near Lorincz’s home that evening, the sheriff’s office said.

When describing what led up to the shooting, one of Owens’ children told deputies that Lorincz had picked up an electronic tablet that he left on the ground while playing, according to the affidavit. The child said he then told Lorincz to give the tablet back, the document says.

“During this argument, Lorincz threw a roller skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son, striking the child in the toe. After this, when the child and his 12-year-old brother went to speak to Lorincz, she opened her door and swung at them with an umbrella,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

One of the children sent his sibling to get their mother, Owens, the affidavit says.

“Shortly after, the victim approached (Lorincz’s) front door and banged on the door, yelling for Lorincz to throw something at her if she wanted to throw something,” the affidavit says.

Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to the scene because Lorincz had called to report that children were trespassing on her property, saying one had threatened to beat her up, according to the affidavit.

Just minutes after Lorincz’s first 911 call, she called back to reportthat she had shot through her door after a woman, later identified as Owens, “tried to break down her door while yelling,” the affidavit says.

Owens’ 12-year-old son also called 911 to report his mother had been shot, the document says.

The child told dispatchers Owens had only been knocking on the neighbor’s door, according to the document.

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