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White woman who fatally shot Black neighbor is arrested in Florida



OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman accused of fatally shooting her neighbor last week in the violent culmination of what the sheriff described as a 2½-year feud was arrested Tuesday, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Susan Louise Lorincz, 58, who is white, was arrested on charges of manslaughter with a firearm, culpable negligence, battery and two counts of assault in the death of Ajike Owens, a Black mother of four, Sheriff Billy Woods said in a statement.

Authorities came under pressure Tuesday to arrest and charge the white woman who fired through her front her door and killed a Black neighbor in a case that has put Florida’s divisive stand your ground law back into the spotlight.

Woods said that this was not a stand your ground case but “simply a killing.”

When interviewed, Lorincz claimed that she acted in self-defense and that Owens had been trying to break down her door prior to her discharging her firearm. Lorincz also claimed that Owens had come after her in the past and had previously attacked her. Through their investigation – including obtaining the statements of eyewitnesses – detectives were able to establish that Lorincz’s actions were not justifiable under Florida law, a statement from the sheriff’s office said.

About three dozen mostly Black protesters gathered outside the Marion County Judicial Center to demand that the shooter be arrested in the country’s latest flashpoint over race and gun violence. The chief prosecutor, State Attorney William Gladson, met with the protesters and urged patience while the investigation continues.

“If we are going to make a case we need as much time and as much evidence as possible,” Gladson said. “I don’t want to compromise any criminal investigation and I’m not going to do that.”

Owens, 35, was killed in the Friday night shooting, Woods said. The women lived in the rolling hills south of Ocala, a north Florida city that is the heart of the state’s horse country.

Woods had said Monday that detectives were working with the State Attorney’s Office and must investigate possible self-defense claims before they can move forward with any possible criminal charges. The sheriff pointed out that because of the stand your ground law he can’t legally make an arrest unless he can prove the shooter did not act in self-defense.

On Tuesday, a stuffed teddy bear and bouquets marked the area near where Owens was shot. Nearby, children were riding bikes and scooters, and playing basketball. Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace” and “A.J. A.J. A.J” using Owens’ nickname. They carried signs saying: “Say her name Ajike Owens” and “It’s about us.”

Outside, the Rev. Bernard Tuggerson said the Black community in Ocala has suffered injustices for years. “Marion County is suffering and needs to be healed completely,” he said. “If we don’t turn from our wicked ways of the world, it’s going to be an ongoing problem. We want answers.”

The sheriff said Owens was shot moments after going to Lorincz’s apartment, who had yelled at Owens’ children as they played in a nearby lot. He also said Lorincz had thrown a pair of skates that hit one of the children.

Deputies responding to a trespassing call at the apartment Friday night found Owens suffering from gunshot wounds. She later died at a hospital.

Before the confrontation, Lorincz had been yelling racial slurs at the children, according to a statement from civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Owens’ family. He also represented Trayvon Martin’s family in 2012, when the Black teenager was killed in a case that drew worldwide attention to the state’s stand your ground law.

The sheriff’s office hasn’t confirmed there were slurs uttered or said whether race was a factor in the shooting.

Lauren Smith, 40, lives across the street from where the shooting happened. She was on her porch that day and saw one of Owens’ young sons pacing, and yelling, “They shot my mama, they shot my mama.”

She ran toward the house, and started chest compressions until a rescue crew arrived. She said there wasn’t an altercation and that Owens didn’t have a weapon.

“She was angry all the time that the children were playing out there,” Smith said. “She would say nasty things to them. Just nasty.” Smith, who is white, described the neighborhood is family friendly.

The sheriff said that since January 2021, deputies responded at least a half-dozen calls in connection with what police described as feuding between Owens and Lorincz.

“There was a lot of aggressiveness from both of them, back and forth,” the sheriff said Lorincz told investigators. “Whether it be banging on the doors, banging on the walls and threats being made. And then at that moment is when Ms. Owens was shot through the door.”

“I’m absolutely heartbroken,” Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told The Associated Press. She described the fatal shooting as “so senseless.”

“We’ve seen this again and again across this country,” she said, adding that “it’s really because of lax gun laws and a culture of shoot first.”

Ferrell-Zabala said stand your ground cases, which she refers to as “shoot first laws,” are deemed justifiable five times more frequently when a white shooter kills a Black victim.

In 2017, Florida lawmakers updated the state’s self-defense statute to shift the burden of proof from a person claiming self-defense to prosecutors. That means authorities have to rule out self-defense before bringing charges. Before the change in law, prosecutors could charge someone with a shooting, and then defense attorneys would have to present an affirmative defense for why their client shouldn’t be convicted.

In fact, stand your ground and “castle doctrine” cases — which allow residents to defend themselves either by law or court precedent when threatened — have sparked outrage amid a spate of shootings across the country.

In April, 84-year-old Andrew Lester, a white man, shot and injured 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who rang his doorbell in Kansas City after mistakenly showing up at the wrong house to pick up his younger siblings. Lester faces charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action; at trial, he may argue that he thought someone was trying to break into his house, as he told police.

Missouri and Florida are among about 30 states that have stand your ground laws.

The most well-known examples of the stand your ground argument came up in the trial of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, who had a white father and Hispanic mother, told police that Martin attacked him, forcing him to use his gun in self-defense. He was allowed to go free, but was arrested about six weeks later after Martin’s parents questioned his version of events and then-Gov. Rick Scott appointed a special prosecutor.

Before trial, Zimmerman’s attorneys chose not to pursue a stand your ground claim, which could have resulted in the dismissal of murder changes as well as immunity from prosecution. But during the trial, the law was essentially used as part of his self-defense argument. Jurors found him not guilty.

At a vigil Monday, Owens’ mother, Pamela Dias, said that she was seeking justice for her daughter and her grandchildren.

“My daughter, my grandchildren’s mother, was shot and killed with her 9-year-old son standing next to her,” Dias said. “She had no weapon. She posed no imminent threat to anyone.”


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Central Florida News

Unopposed: Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz Cruises to 5th Term



File - Photo by Florida National News

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz will serve another four years in office following an unopposed re-election campaign for his fifth term.

It appears that unopposed races reflected positively on the city’s performance. The lack of candidates overall is a sign that Orlando City Commission District 2 is running very well at the hands of Commissioner Ortiz.


Other Elections

In his re-election bid for a 6th term, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will face challengers Sam Ings, Tony Vargas and Steve Dixon. Orlando City District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan will face Katie Koch and former Trump campaign Orange County chairman Randy Ross. Orlando City District 6 Commissioner Bakari Burns will face Rufus Hawkins in his re-election bid.

An election is set for November 7th.

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Central Florida News

Mayor Buddy Dyer Will Seek 6th Term; Faces Sam Ings, Tony Vargas, and Steve Dixon



Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks during Mayor Demings' and Orlando Mayor Dyer's proclaimed "Disney Day" at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Friday, December 3, 2021. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
File - Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks during Mayor Demings' and Orlando Mayor Dyer's proclaimed "Disney Day" at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Friday, December 3, 2021. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will face challengers Sam Ings, Tony Vargas and Steve Dixon as he mounts a run for a historic sixth term. Dyer, Ings, Vargas and Dixon qualified for the 2023 Mayoral race ahead of the September 14th qualification deadline.

Former Orlando City Commissioner Ings is seeking a rematch to oust Dyer.


Statement by Mayor Buddy Dyer

Mayor Dyer said, “I am proud to be in the race to serve our diverse community once again as Orlando’s Mayor. Together, we will continue to improve the overall quality of life and secure a brighter future for everyone who calls Orlando home. This includes responsible investments that diversify and strengthen our economy and grow the quality careers of tomorrow. We will continue to expand our parks, make transportation accessible and keep our City safe.”

Under Buddy Dyer’s leadership as Mayor, Orlando has evolved into a world-class city with premier sports, arts and cultural venues, and leads as the Southeast’s most sustainable city. Mayor Dyer remains committed to creating a robust economy through initiatives like the Main Street Program, which has led to the creation of more than 1,000 new businesses, and the development of the Creative Village in Downtown Orlando and Medical City in Lake Nona. Mayor Dyer has worked alongside Orlando residents to define Orlando as the country’s new home for inclusiveness and opportunity, with a strong focus on innovation, safety, transportation, sustainability and government efficiency. Orlando is also among an elite group of A-list cities across the globe that are recognized for its actions to fight climate change.


Election Information

Early voting for the Mayoral race will take place from October 28 – November 5, 2023, with election day on November 7, 2023. For more information, visit

Voters who desire to vote by mail must re-request their ballot by October 26, 2023 via the Supervisor of Elections Office at or in-person at 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806.

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Central Florida News

OPINION: Democratic State Senator Victor Torres Seat Could Flip Republican or White



Florida State Senator Victor Torres, Jr., presenting Senate District 25 in Osceola and Orange counties.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN) – Recently, Osceola County School Board Member Jon Arguello and St. Cloud Proud Foundation Founder Jose Martinez filed paperwork to run for the Florida State Senate District 25 open seat, according to the Florida Division of Elections’ website.

Both candidates are Hispanics and Republicans.



Could Senate District 25 Flip Republican?
Arguello and Martinez are hoping to flip State Senate District 25 seat for the Republican Party in 2024. Senate District 25 is heavily Hispanic with a large Puerto Rican population in Osceola and Orange counties.

During the 2022 midterm election, incumbent State Senator Victor Torres was clearly losing support among Democrat and independent Hispanic voters in Osceola County. Republican candidate Peter Vivaldi came within 300 votes of flipping Osceola County out of the Democratic Party’s hands. The Democrats appear to have their work cut out for them if they want to switch Osceola County from purple back to blue.



U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, won Osceola County in the 2022 election, showing an ideological shift in the population.


Florida State Representative Kristen Arrington, a Democratic candidate for Florida State Senate District 25, attends the Central Florida AFL-CIO annual Labor Picnic in Orlando. Photo by Florida National News.

Florida State Representative Kristen Arrington, a Democratic candidate for Florida State Senate District 25, attends the Central Florida AFL-CIO annual Labor Picnic in Orlando. Photo by Florida National News.


Could Senate District 25 Flip White?
In since 2012, Darren Soto was the first and Victor Torres was the second Puerto Rican elected to the State Senate. Both are registered Democrats.

Democratic State Representative Kristen Arrington flipped a former Puerto Rican seat white when she won Florida House District 43 in 2020, vacated by then Democratic State Rep. John Cortes, who ran unsuccessful for Osceola County Clerk of the Courts. The seat is yet to be reclaimed by a Puerto Rican candidate because after redistricting, Rep. Arrington was re-elected by a landslide (Arrington 58.3% to Republican Christian De La Torre 38.7) to the predominantly Hispanic constituency, renamed District 46, in 2022.

And now, with her sights on Sen. Torres’s seat for 2024, Rep. Arrington may very well win (and flip) that seat too. Arrington carries with her a name with strong political capital. She’s working full time in the family business: Her mother-in-law, Mary Jane Arrington, is the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections, while her husband, Brandon Arrington, was elected for Osceola County Commissioner for District 3 in 2020 and became Board Chair in 2022.

After Arrington’s win in 2020, Puerto Rican Democrats only have one seat in the Florida House–Rep. Daisy Morales won in 2020 and lost in 2022 to Rita Harris, who is white and a Democrat, while Orange County School Board Member Johanna Lopez, who’s Puerto Rican and a Democrat won the District 43 seat that became available after redistricting split Rep. Morales’ District 48 in half (districts 43 and 44).

Arrington’s current Democratic opponent in the SD 25 race is Sen. Torres’s own wife Carmen Torres. While Torres has worked alongside her husband as well as their daughter–Orange County Property Appraiser Amy Mercado–in building strong relationships among unions, Democrats and political action committees (PACs), the Arringtons appear to have a dynasty in Osceola County, so Torres will have her work cut out for her in that portion of the district.

In 2022 Arrington continued to make inroads with the Puerto Rican community by endorsing State Rep. Morales re-election bid, the only Puerto Rican in the Florida House, and co-sponsored bills Morales sponsored that were signed into law. However, Senator Torres, his daughter and wife chose to endorse Harris, who is white, instead of gaining an additional House seat (District 44) and political power for the Hispanic community.

Puerto Rican political organizers and activists told NBC News, “We must elect more Puerto Ricans to local and state offices and Congress.”



During the 2022 election, Governor DeSantis focused heavily on voter registration, which appeared to benefit him in Osceola County, and the Democrats will need to focus on GOTV (get out the vote) and voter registration efforts in order to increase their chances of victory. With 2024 being a presidential election year, more Democrats will turn out, but Democrats, especially in the Hispanic and Puerto Rican communities, will need to take a page out of DeSantis’s playbook and unify–with zero infighting whatsoever, despite their differences–and turn out every vote they possibly can in order to protect their representation. If not, the seats will continue to be scooped up by others.


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